Firefighters are reminding Londoners not to keep glass bottles or ornaments on window sills after a crystal ball set fire to a bedroom in a home in Romford. The sun’s rays were refracted through the ball, setting light to the curtains, which spread to the rest of the room.
A man and a woman escaped the property uninjured. They attempted to tackle the fire with a garden hose and some towels before realising the fire was too severe and calling the Brigade. The man was asleep after a night shift when the fire started and was woken up by his smoke alarm.
Fire Investigation Officer Mick Boyle from London Fire Brigade said:
“The blaze caused severe damage to the bedroom but thankfully no one was hurt. The man, who was asleep in the bedroom when the fire started, was woken up by the smoke alarm going off. That smoke alarm saved his life – he could easily have slept through and been overcome by smoke.
“You can’t predict the future, but you can prevent this type of fire by keeping glass ornaments, mirrors, and bottles away from sunny window sills.
“You should never try and fight a fire yourself – they can develop very quickly and you can really put yourself in danger. Garden hoses and towels are never going to be enough to extinguish a blaze like this, so the best thing you can do is close the door on the fire, get out, stay out, and dial 999.”
The fire happened on Saturday 22 February on Church Road in Romford. The Brigade was called at 1549 and the fire was under control at 1646.
The Brigade’s top three safety tips are:
1. If you have a fire, close the door on the blaze, get out, stay out, and call the Brigade.
2. Get a smoke alarm and test it every week to make sure it works and the batteries aren’t flat.
3. Keep glass or crystal objects off sunny window sills.