Aftermath of the fire caused by sunlight refracted through a snow globe Copyright: KFRS
An East Peckham resident has described how his working smoke alarm and the brave actions of his son saved their family Christmas, after a freak fire broke out in their Strettitt Gardens home yesterday morning (12 December 2017).
Homeowner Paul Wozny, who was out at the time, described how the incident unfolded. He said: “My son, Alex, who was upstairs at the time, heard the smoke alarm sounding on the ground floor of the property and went to investigate. The source of the blaze was not immediately obvious, so he checked each room of the house, before returning to the lounge where he spotted flames coming from the curtains. Alex quickly pulled down the curtains, and ran outside with them before the fire could take hold in the lounge and spread to our Christmas tree.”
It is believed that the fire started on the windowsill and was caused by the heat from refracted sunlight shining from a festive glass snow globe, which then set fire to the curtains. Two fire crews were sent to the scene and firefighters checked the fire was fully out using a thermal imaging camera. The window sill and the window frame was damaged by the blaze, and there was slight damage to the ceiling and wooden floor and sofa in the lounge.
“I think he was really brave and his actions undoubtedly saved our home. I dread to think how things would have turned out if we hadn’t had smoke alarms. We would have definitely lost all our Christmas presents and could also have been without a home this Christmas.”
Unfortunately, Alex, 26, suffered minor burns to his hands and foot, and fire crews advised him to cool his wounds with water, before getting checked out at hospital.
Paul added: “The fire crew were very reassuring and very thorough and thankfully Alex is okay, if a little shaken by the ordeal. I would never have imagined that placing a glass ornament on the window sill could lead to such a fire. I will definitely avoid that in the future.
“It just shows you that a fire can start in your home when you least expect it and it certainly hits home how important it is to make sure your smoke alarms are in good working order.”
This incident follows a similar incident recently in Tunbridge Wells.