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Bizarre causes of fires revealed
A pigeon dropping a discarded cigarette down a chimney and a dog turning on a toaster were among some of the most bizarre causes of fires this year, the country's biggest brigade has revealed.
Investigators in London studied 2,000 incidents in the capital in a bid to highlight the importance of fire safety, and discovered some truly weird cases.
Among the most unlikely causes of fires were:
:: A teenage boy on his first date sprayed a can of deodorant on himself, then inexplicably lit what remained in the can, causing an explosion.
:: A toilet roll dropped down the loo was placed in a microwave to dry it out.
:: A dog hit the controls of a toaster as it leapt on to a worktop to reach food, setting fire to a bag.
:: A pigeon dropped a discarded lit cigarette down a chimney, starting a fire in a bird's nest.
:: A pair of boxer shorts being used to apply linseed oil to a floor caught fire.
:: A fridge freezer caught fire after a mouse got into the back, shorting the electrics.
Charlie Pugsley, from London Fire Brigade's investigations team, said he had seen some "weird and wonderful" things this year, adding that even the strangest fire could have been prevented by taking simple fire safety precautions.
He advised people not to use microwaves to dry out clothes or other items, never to leave candles unattended and to keep mirrors and glass, which reflect the sun's rays, away from flammable objects.