Jersey fire service blames winter sun for ‘severe fire’

Posted under Miscellaneous on 25 Feb 2014

Winter sun has been blamed for a house fire that took 20 firefighters to put out.

Jersey Fire and Rescue service said the fire on Friday was caused by suns rays being magnified and reflected by a mirror.

Area Commander Mark Johnson said it was rare but had been the cause of several fires in Jersey over the years.

He said: “People are often caught unaware as the gentle feel of the sun at this time of year can be deceptive.”

At its height the fire it looked like it would engulf the first floor and the roof of the large detached house in St Martin.

Officers said the fire developed quickly and trapped a 19-year old man upstairs. His cries attracted the attention of nearby gardeners who used a ladder to recue him from the window.

Mr Johnson said: “The low elevation of the winter sun allows the sun’s rays to penetrate deeper into a room than would normally be expected, and despite the perceived ‘mild’ nature of the heat being produced, when this type of radiation is magnified it will readily ignite combustibles.”

Source: bbc.co.uk