Sunlight passing through glass ignites paper on Kamloops woman's nightstand, she says

Glass sculpture sparks flame

Sunlight passing through a glass sculpture on a Kamloops woman's nightstand caused a paper booklet to catch fire on Thursday, she says.

Kloee Davis said she was sitting around on Thursday afternoon when she noticed something was smoking.

“I started smelling smoke, then I started searching the house, thinking, ‘What’s on fire?’" Davies told Castanet Kamloops.

"And it took me a good five minutes and nothing was on fire. And then I went into my bedroom to start checking outlets because I thought maybe there’s a fire in the walls, since the smell was getting super crazy.”

Davies said it didn't take her long after that to see what had ignited.

“And I went over to the bed and my husband’s side table has a round ball glass sculpture kind of lamp and there was a manual sitting on his night table fully on fire,” she said.

Davies said she was shocked to see the flames.

“The light from the window reflected through the glass lamp I guess and lit this manual on fire,” she said.

“And if I wasn’t home my house would have just burned down.”

The glass concentrated the light, Davies surmised, not unlike the effect of sunlight passing through a magnifying glass.

“I’ve always heard when it’s forest fire season, they always say a piece of glass on the ground can reflect light and start forest fires because of the needles and stuff on the ground — that’s the only thing I can compare it to that I’ve known before that could happen,” Davies laughed.

“You always think, ‘Would that really happen’? But apparently, that would really happen."

Kamloops Fire Rescue chief fire prevention officer Dean Olstad said the chances of sunlight passing through glass and sparking fire are slim.

"Can it happen? It's possible," he told Castanet Kamloops.

"Is it common? No. In general, I'd say it's a low probability."

Davies said she feels lucky she caught the fire quickly. She put it out herself and did not call 911.

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