Glass paperweight sets home on fire

The fire was started accidentally
The fire was started accidentally

A freak fire was caused after sunrays bounced off a glass paperweight and set a city home alight.

Paperwork lying on a study desk went up in flames when the rays reflected off four weights sat on the window sill. Residents of the Stony Stratford home saw smoke billowing from their ground-floor study shortly before 3pm yesterday afternoon.

Today, firefighters have issued a stark warning following the near-miss in Ousebank Way.

Watch Commander Charlie Turner, from Great Holm Fire Station, said: Charlie said: “We are advising people to take extra care, particularly with glass objects such as paperweights or mirrors which have a magnified side.

“Keep them out of contact with direct sunlight, and never put them on or near window sills.”

Nationally, a number of house fires have been caused by the effects of sunlight on glass paperweights, make-up and shaving mirrors or decorative “bottle effect” windows.

In March 2013, a Leighton Buzzard community priest spoke of his shock when a lifetime of memories were destroyed in a blaze caused by a paperweight.

If you would like a free assessment of the fire risks in your home, and free smoke alarms where necessary, ring the Home Fire Risk Check hotline on 01296 744477 or email