London Fire Brigade

Roehampton - maisonette fire

18 January 2018

Firefighters rescued a cat from a fire in a block of maisonettes which is believed to have been started by sunlight reflecting off a mirror in Highcliffe Drive, Roehampton.

The blaze has prompted a warning from firefighters who are reminding Londoners to keep glass ornaments and mirrors out of direct sunlight.

Half of a five-roomed maisonette on the seventh and eighth floors of the building was damaged by fire. One cat, named Minx, was rescued by crews wearing breathing apparatus.

The Brigade’s fire investigators believe the fire was started by sunlight reflecting off a makeup mirror and onto an adjacent lampshade. The fire then spread to the bed.

A London Fire Brigade spokesperson said: “These sorts of incidents are not as rare as you would think.

“Our crews have seen everything from sparkly doorknobs and crystal balls to glass fish bowls and food jars containing crystals starting fires.

“We would advise people to keep items such as crystals, glass ornaments and shaving mirrors out of direct sunlight.

“It is also vital to have working smoke alarms throughout your home.

“Fires can start in any room and homes need multiple smoke alarms which should be tested regularly. They should be fitted in your hallways and landings and in any room where you smoke, use candles, incense sticks or portable heaters and leave electrical equipment on or on charge, such as satellite boxes, heaters, computers and mobile phones.

“A heat alarm should also be installed in your kitchen.”

The Brigade was called at 1254 and the fire was under control at 1357. Five fire engines and 31 firefighters and officers from Wandsworth, Ricmond, Fulham, Hammersmith and Battersea fire stations attended the scene.

The Brigade’s top three sunlight safety tips

  • Keep concave mirrors and crystal or glass objects away from sunny sills and flammable materials
  • Fit at least one smoke alarm per floor and test them every week to make sure they work and the batteries are not flat
  • If you have a fire, close the door on the blaze, get out, stay out and call the Brigade