A crystal ball has nearly burnt a home to the ground in the US after a ray of sunlight was focused into a beam hot enough to start a fire.
Firefighters from the Delton Fire Department in Wisconsin were first alerted to the blaze when the property’s owner came home and noticed thick black smoke coming from the windows.
Emergency services arrived and extinguished the blaze, which is estimated to have caused in excess of $323,040 in damages.
An investigation revealed that the cause of the fire was a glass crystal ball ornament that had ignited a couch after focusing a strong beam of light from a nearby window.
“Homeowners should keep items such as crystals, mirrors, glass ornaments, and even bottles away from direct sunlight and particularly away from anything flammable,” the Delton Fire Department advised on social media.
“These items can act just like a magnifying glass and focus sunlight so that the energy, which would normally be spread out over a wide area, is delivered to a much smaller point.”
There were no injuries to the home’s occupants or firefighters.
Crystal balls have been known to start fires before, thanks to an omnidirectional burning glass effect that can occur in full sunlight.
The balls can take an image of the sun and focus it into a smaller, hotter image that has the potential to ignite dark-coloured flammable material.