A FIRE started in a Hampshire pensioner’s home in bizarre circumstances when sunlight reflecting off a make-up mirror set alight letters and a desk.

Rosemary Smith narrowly averted the blaze devastating her bungalow thanks to a smoke alarm and advice she had been given just a couple of months ago by fire crews.

She had returned home and was about to enter the property when her daughter Terri heard the alarm sounding and smelled burning.

After going inside and opening her bedroom door, Rosemary was confronted by a “wall of smoke”.

She quickly went back outside and dialled 999.

Fire chiefs say that her prompt actions stopped a small incident becoming a dramatic house fire.

They praised her for keeping her bedroom door shut while she was out, leaving her home straight away and calling in fire crews immediately.

But Rosemary was shocked when firefighters told her that the standing make-up mirror on a table was to blame.

She said: “I always have it there and never gave it a thought.

“They said it was minutes away from it starting alight. It was at an angle.

“The wood was half an inch thick and it penetrated through that.

“It could have been so bad, so I was lucky, really lucky.”

Rosemary, 71, had had a new fire alarm fitted at her home in Sandy Lane, Fair Oak, and took fire safety advice from visiting officers two months ago.

Watch manager Pete Clarke, the officer in charge of the fire on Monday, said: “The smoke alarm and advice given at the home safety visit along with Rosemary’s quick actions managed to prevent a small incident from becoming devastating.

“I would say this incident was mere minutes from changing from a small fire to a dramatic house fire.”

Rosemary said that if she had come home later her curtains could have gone up.

“I was lucky, someone upstairs was looking after me,” she added.