Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Flame Strike?

This is an older story, from September, but an intriguing one nonetheless. A man who died last December is believed to be Ireland's first victim of spontaneous human combustion. This is problematic, as most experts who have investigated the phenomenon are of the opinion that spontaneous human combustion does not exist and is quite simply impossible.

But an Irish coroner declared just that this week as the cause of death for 76-year-old Michael Faherty, who died in December 2010. The BBC reports that the finding is the first reported case of spontaneous human combustion in Ireland’s history.

Forensic experts originally attributed the blaze that killed Faherty to a fire in the fireplace of the sitting room where his body was found. But after a closer investigation, the coroner ruled otherwise. “The fire had been confined to the sitting room,” the BBC reports. “The only damage was to the body, which was totally burnt, the ceiling above him and the floor underneath him.” No accelerant was found nor any signs of foul play.

Coroner Kieran McLoughlin explains: "This fire was thoroughly investigated and I'm left with the conclusion that this fits into the category of spontaneous human combustion, for which there is no adequate explanation."

Clearly this coroner has never played Dungeons and Dragons. The most telling clue is that damage was found on the ceiling above the body and also on the floor below it. That means only one thing to anyone who's ever played a Cleric character with access to fifth level spells - Flame Strike! Someone in Ireland must have mastered it, and I totally want to know how it's done. Because Flame Strike is awesome!

If anyone overseas has a line on this mystery conjurer, please let me know in comments. This is one opportunity that I don't want to let slip away.

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