Firefighters say glass globe caused small house fire
by Jonathan Partridge | Patterson Irrigator
Sep 27, 2012 | 1431 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Flames singed a wall and smoke filled a rural Patterson house Tuesday, Sept. 25, after the morning sunlight reflecting off a glass orb on the windowsill caused a wooden window covering to smolder.

However, the fire was confined to one room, and no people or pets were injured in the house about two miles east of the city limits.

Firefighters were dispatched to the house fire on the 2400 block of Walnut Avenue at 9:18 a.m. Tuesday.

Darlene Lopez said she was sitting in her living room at about 8:40 a.m. when she heard her smoke alarm sound. When she opened the door to the adjacent room, she was enveloped by smoke and had trouble breathing, she said.

“You couldn’t see a thing,” she said.

She panicked at first because she could not find her dog, a Chihuahua-Pomeranian mix, but the two ultimately found each other and Lopez contacted her landlord who lived next door, and he used a fire extinguisher to suppress the flames until firefighters arrived.

Lopez said she had planned to go shopping Tuesday morning, and she was glad she remained at home and was able to get help to put out the fire.

Though heat from the fire damaged several items and much of the house has smoke damage, the result could have been much worse if the fire had not been detected quickly, according to Division Chief Jeff Breasher of Patterson Fire Department.

Fires caused by reflective glass objects are fairly unusual, Breasher said.

“Just because it’s spherical, it acts just like a magnifying glass,” Breasher said of the glass globe that he said contributed to Tuesday’s fire. “It has those same properties.”

He said that many people like to put glass objects, such as crystals, in homes where they can reflect the outside light, but that may not be a good idea.

Contact Jonathan Partridge at 892-6187, ext. 26, or

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