Fire started as sunlight reflected off mirror

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Firefighters are reminding people to check the positioning of their mirrors following a fire in Turners Hill.

Crews from East Grinstead and Crawley were called to the terraced house on East Street at 11.25am today (May 15) after a make-up mirror on a bedroom table reflected sunlight onto the curtains which smouldered and then caught light.

A spokesman for West Sussex Fire & Rescue said: “Thankfully, the property was fitted with a working smoke detector and although the occupier was out at the time a neighbour heard the detector activating and raised the alarm.

“On arrival fire crews wearing breathing apparatus entered the house and quickly put the fire out using a hose reel and carbon dioxide extinguisher, preventing the fire from spreading to the rest of the property.”

Crew Commander from East Grinstead Fire Station, Keith Lanaway, said: “This may sound like a freak incident, but it isn’t the first time our fire service has attended a fire starting in this way. Our advice is, wherever possible; make sure mirrors and glass ornaments are not positioned in strong sunlight or on windowsills.”

“It also highlights, once again, the importance of every home having a working smoke alarm. Even though the occupier wasn’t at home, the alarm caught the attention of a neighbour who dialled 999. Had the property not had a working smoke alarm, the fire could have developed into something much more serious.”

West Sussex Fire & Rescue offer free Home Fire Safety Checks. Find out if you are eligible by calling 0800 328 6487 or visiting