A DEVASTATING fire at a popular pub has prompted emergency services to share the dangers of reflected sunlight.

The Bluebell Inn, in Guarlford, Malvern, recently had a fire caused by a broken glass bottle in a flower bed, which ignited a hedge.

The fire then spread to the building, which caused devastating damage, but all of the people inside were safely evacuated.

With stronger sunshine and longer days, direct sunlight onto reflective surfaces can cause serious problems.

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Sara Hall, station commander 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.

“If you have magnifying mirrors or items such as glass ornaments or paperweights, please keep them out of direct sunlight or where the sun can reflect on to other items.

“Never leave shaving or vanity mirrors on windowsills, and also keep aerosols or any other flammable items out of direct sunlight.

“Above all, fit working smoke alarms on every floor and test them every week. Don’t ignore a smoke alarm going off, even if it isn’t yours.

“Whether in your property or a neighbour’s, check it out and call 999 immediately if you suspect a fire.

“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."

Worcester News: Interior of The Bluebell Inn pub.Interior of The Bluebell Inn pub.

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Last year, HWFRS fire crews deployed to an incident in Clifton upon Teme in May 2021 when a mirror is believed to have focused the sun's rays on an extension lead, causing a fire.

Officers needed breathing apparatus to enter the property and extinguish the fire.

Elsewhere in the UK, there have been two serious fires in Merseyside caused by sunlight reflecting off mirrors this year.

You can find out more about fire safety at hwfire.org.uk/safety-and-advice/, and you can contact the Prevention Team on 0800 032 1155 to see if you might qualify for a free home fire safety visit.