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Fire which wrecked Camden Town flat ’caused by sun rays on mirror’

London Fire Brigade issues warning to keep reflective and glass objects out of direct sunlight

24 May, 2018 — By William McLennan

The scene of the blaze in Plender Street

A FIRE which destroyed a two-floor flat in Camden Town is believed to have been caused by intense sunlight shining onto a mirror.

London Fire Brigade issued a new warning that glass ornaments and mirrors should be kept away from direct sunlight in the wake of the blaze in Plender Street, Camden Town. More than 30 firefighters attended the fire at the maisonette on Thursday afternoon after the brigade received 13 emergency calls.

Two people who escaped the burning building before crews arrived were later treated for smoke inhalation. A neighbour was taken to hospital as a precaution. Hope Stevens, who lives a few doors away, ran back into the building to alert housemates after seeing flames shoot from a first-floor window.

She said: “I was out in the garden. I heard someone shout: ‘Fire, jump’. When I looked round there were flames coming out [of the window]. Then I ran upstairs and got them.” Her housemates, all students at UCL, were able to leave the building unharmed.

Olivia Day said: “We heard shouting outside, then glass smashing. We didn’t really think anything of it. Then we looked out the window and there were people in the street shouting ‘Fire!’.”

A neighbour who lives opposite said: “The flames were going up to the flat above. The woman in there saw the flames and went running out. She left the doors open, so it’s lucky there isn’t another flat burnt.”

Investigators said they believed the sun’s rays had shone onto a concave mirror in the bedroom during last week’s hot weather.

A fire brigade statement said: “These sorts of incidents are not as rare as you would think. In the last five years we’ve seen over 100 fires caused by the sun’s rays. This is the second one in a fortnight after sunlight reflecting on a shaving mirror set alight to curtains in Fulham last week.”

It added: “Our advice is to make sure you keep mirrors, crystals, glass ornaments and other reflective items out of direct sunlight at all times.”

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