Among fire hazards in the home, a snow globe is not exactly the most feared.
So Ken Gambell was stunned when he got a call saying his home had caught alight – because of the Christmas decoration.
The sun had caught one of the snow globes – still left out from the holiday season – on his window ledge and beamed light onto the back of his sofa.
With such intense heat and light focused on one spot, the couch began smoking and set off a fire alarm, which was heard by neighbours.
They alerted firefighters who arrived to a room full of smoke and the sofa alight in the living room on Saturday evening.
But Gambell, a 57-year-old bar owner, managed to see the funny side.
‘It was the snow globe that tried to burn my house down,’ he told News, indicating a row of globes on his window ledge.
Apparently when the sun came out – the 15 minutes it showed this year – it hit this globe and created a magnifying effect on the back of the couch,’ he added.
‘She left them here and they tried to burn my house down so it kind of fits.’
He joked: ‘They can’t start a fire on Survivor with flint and tinder. But I can start one in my house with a snow globe.’
Although his sofa is ruined, he said he was lucky not more of his house was damaged.
‘I’m just thankful for good people living next to me,’ Gambell said. ‘Really glad there’s still people like my neighbors in this world.’
While officials said the blaze was a freak occurrence, Ken Gambell’s home is not the only one to have been set alight by a snow globe. In December 2008, a $1 million home in Michigan was destroyed after a Hallmark snow globe caught ‘combustible materials’ on fire. Hallmark later recalled the defective globes, warning they could act as a magnifying glass in the sun.
Homeowners Stephen and Florence Hajek filed suit against the company and collected $1.8 million in insurance.