A British woman's home has been destroyed 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.

Yeates, 53, who lived alone, was out visiting a friend and returned to find $16,502 worth of damage caused to her first-floor flat.

Firefighters blamed the four inch-diameter glass sphere she had kept in her window in Somerset, Great Britain.

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

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

Click here for the full report from The Sun.