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article imageFamily home destroyed by fire started by jar of Nutella

By James Walker     Feb 23, 2015 in Odd News
A warning has been issued after a family's home was devastated by a raging fire started by a Nutella jar that had been left by a window. It magnified the sun's rays and started the huge fire.
The fire started in the afternoon of Sunday February 15th in 41-year old electrical engineer's Declan Murphy's UK home in Twickenham. The Nutella jar was left on the window ledge of Murphy's daughter's room. She was using it to store collectable loom bands.
The low winter sunlight coming through the window is believed to have been focused by the glass jar and strengthened, sparking a blaze which devastated the family home and completely destroyed the roof of the house. Four fire engines and 21 firefighters attended the blaze.
The family was out at the time, celebrating Murphy's engagement anniversary to his wife Lindsay with their two children, aged seven and nine. The family dog, a nine-year-old Jack Russell named Chili, was left in the house and was trapped by the fire. It died of smoke inhalation.
Murphy warned others "I want to ensure other people are aware of the dangers and know to keep glass items away from windows and out of direct sunlight so they don't have to go through anything like this."
The London Fire Brigade said it had attended over 125 similar incidents where intense fires had been started by the sun's rays being magnified during the last five years. Charlie Pugsley of the brigade's fire investigation unit said "These sort of fires are not as rare as you would think. I've seen everything from sparkly door knobs to crystal balls starting fires. Crystal and glass ornaments and items such as mirror tables should be kept out of direct sunlight."
The fire service reiterated the importance of having at least one regularly-tested functional smoke alarm on each floor of your home. It will be up to a year before Murphy and his wife and children will be able to return to their family home in Fielding Avenue.
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