One London family lost their home and family dog to a fire earlier this month after a fire was ignited by sun rays refracting through an empty Nutella jar.
The fire broke out when the sun hit the empty Nutella jar, which Declan Murphy’s daughter was using to store rubber band bracelets. The fire caught on the window’s blinds and eventually spread throughout the house.
“It sounds far fetched that a jar containing a few rubber bands caused a severe house fire but that’s exactly what happened,” Charlie Pugsley of the brigade’s fire investigation unit said.
The fire gutted the first floor bedroom where Murphy’s daughter had slept and caused damage to the roof. The Murphy’s 9-year-old Jack Russell Terrier, Chili, was also unfortunately a casualty to the fire.
Murphy, his wife and his two children were luckily away celebrating the couple’s engagement anniversary when the fire started.
"We're all heartbroken at Chili's death and we've been told it will be up to a year before the house is ready for us to move back into," Murphy said. "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."
Four engines, 21 firefighters and a number of police officers were sent to extinguish the fire. According to authorities, 125 fires have been caused by sunlight refractions in the past five years.