A MAGNIFYING mirror close to a window caused a fire in an Aghalee home, prompting a warning from the fire service.
District Commander Victor Spence has warned of the dangers after such a mirror was blamed for causing a fire in a dressing room the house at Ballycairn Court on Thursday afternoon.
Mr Spence said that in his 11 years experience as a fire fighter he has only come across one other case quite like it.
He said that the reflection from the sunlight struck the glass and caused the curtains to then go on fire in the room of the two storey dwelling.
The occupier of the house, a shift worker, had been asleep at the time and was only alerted to the fire by an activated smoke alarm which went off around 2pm. He was able to put the fire out and then called the Emergency Services.
Two appliances arrived at the scene from Lurgan Fire Station and another from Crumlin Fire Station. Fire crews then left the scene and the incident was dealt with by 2.33pm.
“We received a call at 2pm of a fire in house in Aghalee,” said Mr Spence. “When we arrived the fire was put out and confined to a dressing room which was at the first floor of the house. It was an accidental fire caused by sunlight reflection off a magnifying mirror which then caused fire to the curtains and the dressing room.
“This is a rare event. In the past 11 years I have only heard of one other incident quite like this.
“The man was in his early 30s and had been asleep at the time. If it has not been for the working smoke alarm goodness knows what might have happened. That is why it is always important to have a good working smoke alarm or alarms.
“Smoke alarms can save lives, Even though it was a small fire it was confined to the one area of the room and the curtains and carpet were damaged and smoke damage was caused to the upstairs of the house.
“Even though this is a rare event and thankfully the smoke alarm woke the occupier up, do not place your mirror near a window because even at this time of the year there is sunlight and that scenario can cause a fire. It could have been worse but thankfully it was not.”