A family's "lucky escape" has prompted a serious warning about how easily fires can start after a child's toy almost set their house ablaze.
Mum-of-two Danielle was getting her kids, aged 4 and 1, ready to leave when she noticed smoke coming from her living room which she later learned was caused by her daughter's toy mirror.
On checking it out, Danielle, from Gateshead, England noticed the window frame melting and smouldering before looking down to notice a small toy mirror on the floor.
"It smelt very electrical and the smoke was very hazy, like when you put out a candle," the mother said. "It had burned a black hole into the window frame".
The fire was caused by the sunlight shining into the room and reflecting off the mirror, concentrating the heat onto a window frame, and causing the PVC to burn.
"That living room gets so much light, it can get really hot. Thankfully we were running late that day so we hadn’t left the house yet, if we had, who knows what we’d have come back to,"she said.
Common fire hazard can be 'devastating'
Fearing the worst, Danielle called the firefighters who were initially puzzled as to how the fire started. It was only then they noticed the melted window frame they'd realised.
"You wouldn’t think that a child’s toy could put your family at risk," Danielle said. "It was a lucky escape for us but someone else may not be so lucky so please be careful".
Local firefighter Jon Anderson said while such fires do not happen often, they can be "devastating". "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," he said.
Aussies share fire warning
Last year, Sydney mum Emma Flanigan experienced the same panic when her son's car seat almost caught fire with him still in it. A mirror attached to the back of the passenger seat in front was likely to blame.
A spokesperson for Kidsafe Australia told Yahoo News Australia that "such an incident is extremely rare but can’t be ruled out".
"It is a warning to drivers, parents and carers to check that there is no mirror, glass or magnifying item that could inadvertently focus sunlight onto any part of the vehicle’s interior," they said.
Meanwhile, in December, we shared just how easily fires can start after a woman noticed smoke coming from her couch.
with Jam Press
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