Thursday, September 2, 2010

Insurance company: Flowers started Ark. house fire

A fire that did $20,000 in damages to a northeast Arkansas home wasn't caused by an electrical problem or burning food or arson, an insurance investigator concluded.

Instead, the dead plants did it, according to a report summary provided to the homeowner, Brian Duncan.

"The fire was caused by self-heating through decomposition of organic materials contained within a plastic flowerpot," the Aug. 25 letter from State Farm Insurance Co. said.

Or, in layman's terms, spontaneous combustion.

Duncan, whose home is a few miles south of Paragould, said the flowerpot had contained dead, decomposing flowers and potting soil that his wife had planted in the summer of 2009. Paragould is about 150 miles northeast of Little Rock.

"She had intended on repotting (the flowers)," Duncan said. But they sat on the porch, unwatered, and eventually died.

He said it was clear where the July 25 fire had begun, because the burning flowerpot and plants charred a hole in the porch and they fell to the ground several feet below.

Still, Duncan said he was surprised at the conclusion contained in the letter. Duncan provided The Associated Press with a copy.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the blaze and Duncan's father-in-law was able to put it out with a garden hose even before firefighters from a nearby volunteer fire department arrived.

via Insurance company: Flowers started Ark. house fire - Yahoo! News.

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