Woman's home has been wrecked by a freak fire sparked by the sun shining on a crystal ball on her window sill.

The $33 ornament refracted the rays straight into the back of Kim Yeates's TV which overheated and exploded, igniting a nearby sofa.

Kim, 53, who lived alone, was out visiting a friend and returned to find more than $16,000 worth of damage caused to her first-floor flat.

Firefighters blamed the 4in-diameter glass sphere she had kept in her window in Worle, Somerset.

The property is owned by a housing association and Kim, a former BBC production assistant, has been told it will take at least eight weeks to repair.

She has been forced into temporary accommodation in the meantime — but has lost most of her possessions for good because she had no insurance.

She said: "My life has been totally wrecked by this crystal ball. I've got no insurance and almost everything I owned was in the flat."

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