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SCORCHIO: DAY 7: SUN SETS HOUSE ON FIRE; Boy, 8, leaps from window.

Byline: ROD CHAYTOR

A BOY of eight jumped out of his bedroom window to escape a fire started by the sun shining through a glass vase on a windowsill.

James Hall was trapped upstairs when the sun ray's were magnified through the ornament setting alight clothes and the carpet on the landing.

Mum Isobel, 43, sister Lucy, six, and brother Thomas, 10, watching TV downstairs, got out through the front door.

James, who jumped 20ft, said: "I tried going out of my room on to the landing but once I got near the fire it was really hot.

"I jumped out of the window because it was my only chance. I landed on the grass and didn't hurt myself."

Mrs Hall said: "Lucy ran into the sitting room, shouting there's a spider on the stairs.

"She knows I'm terrified of spiders and I think it was just her way of getting my attention. I went into the hallway and saw the flames up the stairs. It was terrifying. "

The fire wrecked the first floor and burned a hole in the roof of the house in Sinfin, Derby, on Thursday.

Fire investigation officer Paul Brookes said: "The message is for people if they have got glass vases in their windows they should move them."

The heatwave is continuing across the country but forecasters don't expect temperatures to top Wednesday's high of 36.4C (97.5F).

Showers are predicted in the North on Sunday while the South will swelter at 33C to 34C (91F to 93F). Temperatures are expected to drop below 20C (68F) next week. Aviemore was the hottest place in Scotland yesterday hitting 30C(86F) while Leeds reached 28C(82F).

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SAFE: James Hall and mum Isobel outside burned home
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Aug 9, 2003
Words:291
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