A mother-of-two was horrified after finding her family home filled with smoke. She was getting her children aged four and one, ready for their childminder, when she opened the door to their lounge to retrieve a toy for her daughter, and was confronted by plumes of smoke.
Dannielle, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, said: “You wouldn’t think that a child’s toy could put your family at risk. It smelt very electrical and the smoke was very hazy, like when you put out a candle, and it had burned a black hole into the window frame.”
After quickly rushing out of their terraced house with her children, she dialled 999 to call emergency services.
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Crews from a nearby local fire station arrived within= minutes and by then the smoke had dissipated and the firefighters were puzzled as to the source of the fire.
Dannielle re-entered the property and noticed the window frame was melting. She noticed the sunlight was shining on her daughter’s toy mirror and concentrated the heat onto a window frame.
Jon Anderson, station manager for Swalwell Community Fire Station, said while such fires do not happen often, they can be “devastating”.
He said: “We’ve had an unusually cold and wet summer so often we don’t think about the sun causing fires in this way.”
“But the mirror will magnify the sun rays and bounce them back into your home, we’ve seen fire start from bathroom mirrors left on the window sill.”
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Mr Anderson shared a word of warning to home dwellers: “Although this doesn’t happen often it can be devastating and as the weather starts to pick up we want you to be safe in your home. So make sure you are checking what’s been left out before you go to bed, including turning off your chargers, so that you aren’t in a similar situation to Dannielle.”
Chronicle Live reports if you are worried about fire safety in your home, you can visit TWFRS’s website for a safe and well check in your home. The online tool provides home safety advice and allows you to request a safe and well check in your home or the home of a loved one if you are worried about them.
Safe and well checks are completely free of charge and can provide you with smoke alarms, additional fire safety resources can be issued if appropriate to make your home safer.
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