Crystal ball starts Wisconsin house fire that causes $250K in damage, officials say

DELTON, Wis. — Who could have predicted it?

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A crystal ball is being blamed for starting a fire that caused an estimated $250,000 in damage to a Wisconsin home on Monday, authorities said.

The homeowner in Delton called 911 at around 4:17 p.m. after noticing heavy smoke billowing throughout the house, the Delton Fire Department said in a news release posted to its Facebook page. First responders were able to put out the fire, the department said. Fire officials said flames were restricted to the home’s living room.

Crystal Ball Starts Fire at Town of Delton Home Photos shared with consent of homeowner On Monday, March 8, 2021, at...

Posted by Delton Fire Department on Tuesday, March 9, 2021

An investigation determined the fire started on a couch in the living room. Fire officials said the cause of the blaze was from a glass “crystal ball” ornament. The object had been positioned on a table near the couch in direct sunlight.

“When sunshine came through a large set of windows and through the glass ball, it ignited the couch,” the Delton Fire Department said in its news release.

Department officials said the crystal ball acted like a magnifying glass.

“Sunlight is typically diffused over a large area, but the crystal ball focused the light on a ‘much smaller point,’ causing the couch to heat up and ignite,” the news release said.

The main level of the home sustained damage an estimated $250,000 in damage, fire officials said. No one was injured.

“Homeowners should keep items such as crystals, mirrors, glass ornaments, and even bottles away from direct sunlight and particularly away from anything flammable,” officials wrote on Facebook.