Warning! Halogen spot lights and conservatory blinds don't mix!
The calico blinds across the inside of the roof of our conservatory caught alight on Friday evening.
They have been hanging for nearly 14 years or so with no problem - but just one little adjustment of the lights caused the fabric to overheat and ignite.
Luckily the calico was fire retardant, so it just smouldered away, but the heat was enough to melt the polycarbonate roof, causing lots of putrid, toxic fumes.
The fire alarm started beeping; when we saw what was happening we called the fire service immediately and they were with us in 10 minutes or so.
The fire had burnt out but the conservatory was filled with the black toxic fumes.
Two fire tenders arrived - they always send two to house fires. They hosed down inside the room and pulled all the fittings and trimmings away from the roof to make sure the fire hadn't crept up behind the tile hung walls of the house.
Once they had made the conservatory safe, the fire officers checked over the house and installed some more fire alarms for us.
Thankfully no-one here was at risk and the fire did not take hold.
Looking at the conservatory in the daylight made me realise we were very lucky, things could have been worse, particularly if we had not had a fire alarm.
The fire service offers free fitting of fire alarms and will visit your house to talk to the family about
I urge you all to take advantage of this - our small, contained fire was scary enough, I can't imagine how it must be to have your house on fire and loved ones at risk.