FIREFIGHTERS have issued a safety warning after sunlight magnified by a bedroom mirror caused curtains to ignite.

Essex Fire Service were called to Main Road, in Great Leighs, at around 4.10pm on Saturday.

A fire had ignited after a mirror, positioned close to an upstairs window, was caught in direct sunlight throughout the afternoon.

The light reflected onto a curtain, which caught fire.

At the time, the family who live in the cottage were downstairs in the living room.

They were alerted by one of their smoke alarms and managed to escape without harm.

Lee Hurst, of Braintree Fire Station, said: "During the warmer months where the sun is more intense and out for much longer, incidents like this are surprisingly common and can be very serious.

"I'd urge anyone with a mirror in their bedroom to think about where it is - if it's in direct sunlight for any amount of time, there is a real risk of this happening in your home too.

"Please think carefully about where your mirrors are.

"Fortunately this family had a working smoke alarm - and once again that's proved vitally important.

"This fire would have developed much further throughout their home if they hadn't been alerted, potentially putting their lives at risk."

Firefighters managed to contain the fire to the bedroom.

The rest of the property suffered minor smoke damage.