THE CAUSE of a blaze which severely damaged a Malvern pub has prompted a warning from Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service.
The Bluebell Inn in Garlford caught fire on June 21 and investigators have now discovered it was started by sunlight shining through a broken glass bottle in a flowerbed which, because it was dry, ignited a hedge and then spread to the building.
The pub is now closed until further notice while the building is repaired and redecorated.
And it has led to Hereford and Worcester Fire and Rescue Service warning people of the dangers of the sun reflecting off glass and mirrors.
Firefighters also cited blazes in other areas of the country, such as Merseyside, where sunlight reflected off mirrors and ignited buildings.
Last year HWFRS crews attended an incident in Clifton Upon Teme where it is believed a mirror reflected the sun’s rays onto an extension lead, causing a fire.
Now, with the much stronger sunshine and longer days, direct sunlight on to mirrors can cause serious problems.
Station Commander Sara Hall, from the HWFRS Prevention department, said: “This kind of fire is far more common than people imagine.
“While enjoying the summer sunshine, it’s vital we all make time to look around our homes and see what ornaments or everyday items could cause a fire.”
Among the advice is keeping magnifying mirrors out of direct sunlight, never put glass ornaments or paperweights or shaving mirrors on window sills or in direct sunlight.
People should be aware of the objects in their homes which have the potential to start a fire and have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of their property – these should be tested once-a-week.
Residents should also investigate if they hear their neighbour’s smoke alarm going off and call 999 immediately if they suspect a fire.
Sara added: “Those vital few seconds could help save a life. If outside, don’t try to enter the property yourself if you think there’s a fire – Get out, Stay out and Call 999.”
People can visit hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice to find out more fire safety advice and can call the Prevention Team on 0800 032 1155 to see if they qualify for a free Home Fire Safety visit.