Arlington house fire “started by sun’s rays”

A fire at a house in Arlington – believed to have been started by the sun’s rays on a mirror – has prompted a warning from firefighters.

Sunday, 23rd June 2019, 11:02 am
East Sussex Fire and Rescue Service

At 4.30pm on Thursday (June 20) crews from Lewes, Eastbourne and Seaford attended a fire in a residential property on Chilver Bridge Road, Arlington.

The fire emanated from the first floor of a terrace house and firefighters used six breathing apparatus and two hose reel jets to extinguish the fire. Crews also ventilated the property. One resident needed medical help after suffering from smoke inhalation.

Watch commander Andy Watson said, “The most likely cause of the fire was as a result of heat from the sun’s rays being concentrated by a reflective mirror or lenses. We would recommend you consider moving mirrors, glasses or glass ornaments, such as crystals away from windows to avoid the risk of fire and ensure you test your smoke alarm once a week.

“Our firefighters often attend incidents where the sun’s rays have been concentrated by reflective or focusing objects including mirrors, spectacles, paperweights or plastic items and caused flammable objects placed nearby to smoulder and sometimes catch fire. In East Sussex we have attended around 20 similar incidents in the past four years and it is a common problem seen by other fire and rescue services. These incidents tend to occur in rooms with south facing windows. People should consider storing objects such as magnifying glasses, mirrors, and glass ornaments away from windows.”