Fire door: South London fire caused by refracted sunlight from crystal doorknob


A fire that ripped through a house in south London was caused by the sun’s rays shining on a crystal doorknob, according to firefighters.

The fire which started on Tuesday morning at a property in Clapham, occurred when refracted sunlight from the doorknob hit a dressing gown eventually causing it to burst into flames.

The fire then ripped through the house causing hundreds of pounds worth of damage to the property.

Firefighters were alerted to the blaze when builders working next to the property heard the smoke alarm.

Luckily nobody was in when the fire occurred and Clapham and West Norwood firefighters were able to put out the flames before it completely destroyed the south-west London home.

Charlie Pugsley from the Brigade’s fire investigation unit said: “The homeowners are lucky they had a working smoke alarm which alerted some local builders who quickly called the Brigade. Part of the bedroom was damaged in the fire but it could have been much worse.“

The incident has led to the London Fire Brigade warning people to be more vigilant in moving crystal and glass objects away from direct sunlight.

Last summer, two holidaymakers in Enfield returned home to the news that their semi-detached had received fire damage after sunlight reflecting off a vanity mirror had caused a pair of curtains to catch fire.

Earlier this year, a couple had to flee their home in Romford when light shining off a crystal ball sitting on a bedside table had resulted in a pair of curtains catching fire.

The London Fire Brigade has now told people to avoid leaving crystal or glass objects away from sunny sills so that incidents like this can be avoided in the future.

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