Firefighters were called to reports of a bedroom fire after the sunlight reflecting off a mirror caused curtains to ignite.

Fire crews from Ongar, Harlow and Brentwood were called to a detached house in Herons Lane, Ongar, at 7:49pm on Friday, June 16.

The fire, which had spread on the first floor of the property, was quickly brought under control and extinguished the flames by 7.30pm.

Watch manager Mark Elsey, from Brentwood Fire Station, said: "The occupants were home at the time and alerted to the first sign of fire by their working smoke alarm.

"The homeowner then tried to tackle the fire himself and as a result suffered from smoke inhalation.

"If you discover a fire in your home always get out, stay out and call 999.”

The bedroom had suffered some fire and smoke damage, but as the internal doors were closed the damage was contained to that single room.

Watch manager Elsey added: "This incident shows how easy it is for magnifying or reflective objects to cause fires.

“Always ensure these objects on your window sills, dressing tables or anywhere else in your home are out of direct sunlight."