Three families have been left homeless after a freak fire tore through their properties - caused by sunlight reflecting off a shard of broken GLASS.
The intense reflection from the glass beamed onto a nearby wooden fence panel setting it alight and rapidly spreading behind a row of terraced houses.
The blaze soon got out of control and ended up destroying items in three gardens, killing two rabbits in a hutch, and smoke damaging three homes.
Among the lost items were a trampoline, bicycles, and a children's playhouse.
Two families have been forced to stay in a hotel because their homes were so badly damaged and another family say they will not return.
Mum-of-two Eleanor Sears, 30, said the fire left her six-year-old, autistic son traumatised.
She said: "It was horrible.
"I just felt complete helplessness when I saw the damage that had been done, and there was nothing I could do."
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service say the accidental fire broke out on July 30 on Spitfire Road in Upper Cambourne, Cambs.
They say the cause of the fire was a ray of sunshine reflecting on broken glass, which set fire to a nearby fencing panel.
And catering assistant Eleanor said: "It didn't actually start in any of the houses - it started in a communal area out the back of our fences, where we keep our bins.
"Luckily, I wasn't in the house at the time - I had taken my two sons to visit my mum.
"I got a call from one of our neighbours saying that there was a fire near our house, but that she didn't think our house was affected.
"I rushed home by myself, not knowing what I was going to find when I got there.
"It was a horrible feeling. The house is mostly fine - it's just the back windows, where the boys' rooms are, that are damaged.
"The glass panes are smashed, and the window frames are melted, so the windows can't be shut.
"My two dogs were inside the house, so my first concern was going in and getting them out - but they're fine, and they're staying with a friend of mine."
But she added: "The garden is totally destroyed. It's in a disgusting state - it's really upsetting.
"My son's two pet rabbits, which he'd had for two years, were in their hutch in the garden, and they were killed in the fire.
"My son is six years old and autistic. He won't go back to the house, because all he knows is that there was a fire and his rabbits are dead. He's really struggled with it."
Eleanor had also just returned from a holiday the week before, and had left laundry hanging out to dry in the garden, belonging to her two sons Toby, six, and Thomas, who is eight months old.
Most of her sons' clothes were destroyed in the fire - as was Toby's bicycle and trampoline, which she says were his favourite playthings.
Eleanor and her sons are still staying with her mum in nearby Fenstanton, ten miles from their Upper Cambourne home.
But she says they have been rehoused by the council, and will not be returning to their damaged home.
She said: "It's all been a bit chaotic. Because we'd only just got back from holiday before this happened, it feels like we haven't been at home in forever.
"We should hopefully be moving into our new home in the next week or so. I'm looking forward to getting back into a routine."
Meanwhile, Angie Fowler, 57, whose home looks onto the back of the row of houses that caught fire, has told of the moment she spotted the blaze, and called the fire service.
Angie, whose niece Sonia has been left living in a hotel as a result of the fire, said: "I was up in my bedroom doing some work, and I looked out the window and saw black smoke.
"When I went to have a closer look, I saw red fire spreading across the fences, and the fence panels just catching like mad.
"I immediately hit 999 and quickly ran out to start banging on doors to make sure that nobody was in the houses.
"I was quite proud of myself - normally I'd have panicked seeing something like that, but I just leapt straight into action."
Angie added that she didn't know at the time that her niece Sonia, 38, was not at home.
And she said: "One of her teenage sons was in the house with a friend, but I made sure they got out of there.
"I think, house-wise, Sonia's is one of the ones that has been worst affected. There is a lot of water damage from where the fire brigade had to use the hose to put the fire out."
Sonia and her six children, aged between 17 and six, have been left living in a hotel.
Angie said: "I think she's doing okay. It's been a bit of a shock for her - I think she's just looking forward to getting back into the house and getting back to normal."
But Angie added that there is no indication as of yet as to when residents will be able to move back in - and that work has not yet begun to repair the fire damage.
A fundraising page has been set up by Jay-Marie Phillips, a family friend of Eleanor's, in the wake of the fire, to help replace some of the sentimental items that were lost.
The fundraising page has so far raised £350 - and Eleanor said that people have been "amazing".
She said: "Even though nobody can really do anything to change what has happened, it is lovely to know that so many people care.
"Now the money can be used to replace things like my son's bicycle, and his trampoline - things that were really important to him."
Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue said: "At 3.07pm on Thursday, July 30, crews from Cambridge, Gamlingay, St Neots and Huntingdon were called to a fire on Spitfire Road in Cambourne.
"Firefighters arrived to find a well-developed fire involving a house car port, that was quickly spreading to nearby fencing and other properties.
"Wearing breathing apparatus they extinguished using hose reels and jets.
"The fire was caused by rays of sunshine reflecting onto broken glass, which set fire to a fencing panel.
"Due to the hot and dry conditions, the fire quickly spread to the rest of the fence and other properties.
"Although this is rare, fires such as this can happen if glass is left where direct sunlight can reflect onto surfaces.
"This can range from discarded glass bottles to ornaments in windows.
"It also shows how a fire can spread quickly in hot and dry conditions, and how having a bonfire to dispose of rubbish can present significant dangers."