A FAMILY from Flintshire were left shocked after a goldfish bowl sparked a blaze at their home.

Firefighters were called to the house in Halkyn at about 2.30pm on Saturday, after neighbours raised the alarm.

The couple, who had left the goldfish bowl near the window of their daughter’s playroom, were out shopping when the blaze started.

Fire crews say it was sparked by sun rays shining through the bowl, which created a ‘magnifying glass effect’ and set the wooden table it was standing on on fire.

Speaking to the Leader at their home, the couple, who asked not to be named, said: “When we got the call from our neighbours to say the house was on fire, we couldn’t believe it.

“We always make sure we unplug everything and couldn’t imagine what could have caused it.

“Eventually the firemen worked out what had happened. The bowl was nowhere near an electric socket and there is no gas in the house, so the sun shining through it had set fire to the table, which ignited the curtains above it.

“The goldfish bowl exploded and the whole room is ruined. We have had to strip out all the wallpaper and we’ll need a new ceiling.

“It’s just unbelievable. You could never imagine something like this happening.”

The blaze caused severe fire damage and 100 per cent smoke damage to the playroom, along with smoke damage to the rest of the house.

Two fire crews using  breathing equipment tackled the flames.

The couple said they wanted to thank their neighbours who alerted the emergency services.

They added: “Our fire alarm went off and so did the house alarm, because it picked up the movements from the flames, which is what alerted our neighbours.

“The firefighers had to break the door down and we will have to re-do the whole room, but it could have been so much worse.

“We just want to warn other people about what happened to us.

“We had cleaned the windows in the room that day, which probably didn’t help, but we never imagined something like this could happen.

“It’s just beyond belief.”