On December 15, 2016 at 9:55AM, the Brewster Fire Department along with the Harwich and Dennis fire departments were dispatched for a possible structure fire at the Brewster Council on Aging Thrift Store, located at 66 Harwich Road. A volunteer worker had arrived for work and found that the building was filled with smoke, she immediately called 911. After activating the 911 system, the worker discovered a coat that was burning on a clothes rack. She removed the coat and placed it in the parking lot.
First arriving fire department units found a smoke filled building with the article of clothing smoldering in the parking lot. Positive pressure fans were utilized to remove the smoke from the building while the coat was being extinguished in the parking lot.
An investigation into the cause of this fire revealed that a magnifying mirror had been left on a counter near a window. When the sunlight shined through the window and onto the mirror, the concentrated and magnified light was reflected onto the coat which then caused the coat to catch fire.
Fires of this type are not uncommon and several have occurred within our region during 2016. Homeowners should be extremely mindful of the placement of magnifying mirrors when they are used in outdoor showers or in the area of windows as the reflected light will eventually produce a level of concentrated heat capable of igniting combustible and flammable materials.