A PIGEON, a dog and a microwaved loo roll are just three of the strangest causes of fires in London this year.

The London Fire Brigade had to contend with a winged arsonist dropping a discarded lit cigarette down a blocked up chimney setting a bird’s nest alight.

In another case a dog hit the controls of a toaster with its paws as it leapt onto a kitchen worktop to reach some food.

Bread left in a bag on top of the toaster caught fire causing damage to the kitchen though the canine culprit survived.

And a fire was started after someone tried to dry out a toilet roll they had dropped down the loo by popping it in the microwave for a few minutes.

These three examples are all included in a list of the oddest conflagration causes the LFB has come across in 2013.

Other cases include the sun’s rays reflecting off a crystal ball setting fire to some curtains and a man using a pair of boxer shorts to apply linseed oil to a floor so vigorously it caused the pants to overheat and a fire to start.

Every year the brigade’s 25 strong fire investigation team is called on to look into how around 2,000 fires in the capital start.

Station manager and investigation team member Charlie Pugsley said: “There’s never a dull moment in the fire investigation team and in my nine years as a fire investigator I’ve seen some weird and wonderful things.”

Top tips for preventing fires  strange or otherwise 

• Make sure kitchen surfaces and cookers are clear of food and other items that can easily catch fire

• Keep mirrors and glass items which reflect the sun’s rays are kept away from flammable objects

• Never leave candles unattended

• Keep pets away from naked flames or cooker controls

• Don’t use microwaves or ovens to dry out clothes or other items. 

For more fire safety advice visit the London Fire Brigade website.