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Dorset refracted light fire fears allayed

  • 6-30-2010

Fire chiefs are urging people not to "panic" after previously saying a fire could have started by light reflecting through the windows of a conservatory.

Crews were called to the flat fire in Portland Road, Wyke Regis on Friday.

The fire service initially said sunlight coming through the windows could have been the cause.

But after a number of calls from worried residents the service said it was an "inadvertent" comment and fires were very unlikely to start this way.

'Comment misconstrued'

Dave Myers, from Dorset fire service, said: "While we're pleased that people are contacting us for advice, the chance of a fire being caused through refracted or magnified light through a window is extremely slim.

"It is much more likely to be an electrical fault, overloaded sockets, or flammable materials being left on windowsills for example.

"I think what must have happened is that our crew may have inadvertently mentioned light refraction while a journalist was in the area, not thinking that it would be reported on, or indeed knowing that the press were there.

"All our crews are aware of how unlikely it is for that to be the cause but perhaps before a cause was established, a throwaway comment could have been misconstrued."

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