Fire investigators in the town of Carefree, Ariz., said a telescope left on the patio of an area home may be to blame for a blaze that destroyed much of the roof.
Dick Wilson and his wife said they were watching TV when they smelled something burning, the Arizona Republic reported.
"We looked at the patio and saw that the ceiling of the patio was on fire," Wilson told the newspaper.
Firefighters extinguished the flames, and no one was hurt.
According to the Republic, Colin Williams, a spokesman for Rural/Metro Fire Department, said a friend of the homeowners told them a few weeks ago that their 14-inch Celestron telescope had been reflecting a "very bright spot on roof of the patio and that it could potentially start a fire."
Wilson said the telescope had been sitting on the patio for some time, and that the fire appeared to have started in the area where the light was reflecting.
Williams told the newspaper that the situation is similar to sunlight directed through a magnifying glass, which in the right circumstances can generate enough heat to burn a flammable material.
However, fire officials said they are still investigating the blaze and have not yet confirmed the telescope as the cause of the fire.
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