Whether the company providing the explanation for a fire in Little Rock Arkansas is simply being creative, or it actually is on to something many would consider paranormal, the official explanation for why one Arkansas home burst into flames causing $20,000 in damage is spontaneous combustion by a rotting plant.
When State Farm Insurance agents examined the house, they concluded that a self heating plant had grown to such great temperatures that it actually burst into flames. Investigators looking into the fire had noted the potted plant, which not only was charred beyond recognition, but had also fallen through the porch to the ground after burning a hole in Brian Duncan’s home. The fire then spread to a small portion of the home’s front exterior. The fire was controlled and put out by a garden hose before firefighters arrived, but not until after causing a significant amount of damage to the home. No one was injured in the incident.
Brian’s plants had been left unwatered on the porch, and he was just about to get around to replacing them when they burst into flames aided by the sun’s heat to reach a degree sufficient to create a self propagating fire. When fire officials arrived on the scene, they said they had never heard anything like it. Duncan consulted his insurance company, which confirmed that he had not been the cause. As the investigation continued, Duncan surveyed the estimated $20,000 in damage caused by the mysterious phenomenon.
With a flower pot, it’s far easier to discover the series of coincidences that can lead to the plant’s combustion. But when it comes to humans the case is often far more rare and difficult to discover. And though it is strange, fire marshals are satisfied that the explanation takes into account the assorted variables required for this case to make sense. As the case comes to light, a word of warning goes out to others who may become victims of this incredibly rare and yet troubling event. If the conditions are just right, even rotting material can become a spontaneous fire hazard.
The family reportedly had to replace carpeting inside the home as the air conditioner sucked much smoke in through its vents, had to repaint the front exterior, and had to get a new deck for their home.
And many are left with the question, if conditions can be exactly right for plant matter to spontaneously combust, what are the chances that these same conditions could occur with humans as well? Since the body is essentially one large walking chemical reaction, is it possible a similar condition could be met within it that raises the temperature several hundred degrees and causes a person to flare up, killing them and causing a very localized fire within their bodies? Theories of spontaneous human combustion abound, as each new case raises questions about the person and whether the fire that consumed them was natural or somehow supernatural.