Reflected sunshine scorched windowsill

Carol Gillespie with the mirror which caused her window to scorch
Carol Gillespie with the mirror which caused her window to scorch

A woman has warned people to be vigilant after avoiding a serious house fire.

Carol Gillespie, of Church Street, Empingham, returned home to find the sunlight had reflected off a mirror on her windowsill and caused the frame to smoulder.

It was left scorched and blackened as a result but Mrs Gillespie fears things could have been a lot worse.

She said: “I’d gone out in a rush and left my make up mirror on the windowsill. Thankfully the sun must have gone in otherwise it could have continued to smoulder, set the curtains alight and who knows what else.

“It was quite scary to see how much damage had already been caused and to think what could have happened.”

Mrs Gillespie, a holistic therapist, says she was aware of the dangers and would normally have put her mirror back on the dressing table when she finished.

She said: “I just wonder how many other people leave mirrors on their windowsills without thinking about what could happen? We had a very lucky escape but other people might not be so fortunate.”

Firefighter Wayne Cotton, of Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Thankfully this is a rare occurrence but anything can happen so it’s important for people to be aware of the risks. The best advice we can give is not to leave reflective objects in direct sunlight, but it’s also important to have a working smoke alarm in case something does happen.

“The early warning provides vital seconds which can make a huge difference.”