Sun’s rays blamed for Woodford Green house fire

PUBLISHED: 12:00 23 October 2018 | UPDATED: 12:08 23 October 2018

A fire tore through the first floor of a home in Woodford Green on Friday, October 19. Photo: LFB

A fire tore through the first floor of a home in Woodford Green on Friday, October 19. Photo: LFB


A blaze which tore through the first floor of a Woodford Green home is believed to have been ignited by concentrated sun rays.

Firefighters were called to a blaze in Hookstone Way, Woodford Green, at around 2.40pm on Friday, October 19.

The first floor of the house was destroyed by the fire and a small section of the roof was also damaged.

The blaze was brought under control by 3.56pm andaround 25 firefighters from Woodford, Walthamstow, Hainault, and Leytonstone fire stations attended.

Fire investigation officer Paul Osborne said: “We believe the sunlight came through the window and refracted off some perfume bottles which were being stored by the bed and then set light to the bedding.

“Fires caused by sunlight are not as rare as you might think.

“At this time of year particularly, and in the spring, the sun generally tracks low in the sky and because of that, the light going in through windows will stick on one point for a long period of time.

“You only need something such as a glass ornament or jar to focus the sun’s rays and it can ignite textiles.”

“It’s not so much about the temperature but about the strength of the sunlight.

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

“It’s never a good idea to try and tackle a fire yourself, it’s much safer to get out and 
call 999 and let firefighters deal with it.”

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