Dog killed in flat blaze sparked by sun's rays shining through Nutella jar

Nutella may have seen a fair bit of burnt toast over the years but now a jar of the popular hazelnut spread has been linked to a fire that killed a family dog.

The tragic blaze started when rays of low winter sunlight shined through the window and were refracted by the glass jar, which was being used to collect rubber bands in a flat in Twickenham, south-west London, BBC News reports.

The family's Jack Russell, Chilli, was trapped inside the flat and died.

The Nutella jar was left on the window sill of a girl's bedroom and the sun rays were reportedly magnified by the glass and beamed onto blinds, causing them to catch fire and leaving the first floor bedroom destroyed and the roof damaged.

Resident Declan Murphy said he was out celebrating his anniversary with his wife and two children at the time of the blaze.

The 41-year-old said the family were left "heartbroken" at the dog's death, adding: "We've been told it will be up to a year before the house is ready for us to move back into".

London Fire Brigade's Charlie Pugsley said sun rays have caused 125 fires in the last five years and warned they are a risk in winter as well as summer, adding that the figures show these incidents are "not an urban myth".

"It sounds far fetched that a jar containing a few rubber bands caused a severe house fire but that's exactly what happened," Mr Pugsley said.