A fire caused by a jar of Nutella has destroyed the roof and first floor of a family home in Twickenham, London, as well as killing their beloved dog. The empty Nutella jar was placed on the window sill to store loom bands, a children’s toy that is all the rage at the moment. As the low winter sunlight shone through the window and the jar, it sparked a flame which then spread to the rest of the floor.
The family, Declan Murray and his wife and two children, were not at home at the time of the fire, as they were out celebrating their engagement anniversary. However, their beloved dog Chili, a nine year old jack russell, was trapped in the house and died from severe smoke inhalation. It took four fire engines, along with 21 firefighters, to get the blaze under control and put out the fire. The family have been informed that it could take up to a year before their home is ready for them to move back into.
Although the cause of the fire may seem slightly unusual, it is more common than people would imagine. Michelle Mone, a lingerie tycoon, witnessed the same thing happening at her home in Mayfair last week, when sunlight shone through the window, refracted off the mirror, and set fire to a bean bag. Luckily, there was no serious damage done.
These recent fires have prompted the London Fire Brigade to warn the public to ensure that they do not keep glass objects near windows that experience direct sunlight. This winter alone, they have responded to five fires caused from a variety of glass objects, from sparkly door knobs to crystal balls.