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Old 02-19-2013, 08:22 AM
 
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http://www.4029tv.com/news/arkansas/...z/-/index.html



Officials said, they found a man's burned body in the middle of the kitchen floor.

The house did not have any fire damage and the cause is unknown, according to Sheriff's office.

Read more: http://www.4029tv.com/news/arkansas/...#ixzz2LM48601j
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Old 02-19-2013, 08:42 AM
 
Location: playing in the colorful Colorado dirt
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It's entirely possible!

I never saw a case when I was in the FD but a couple of the old timers had. Freaked them right the heck out.
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Old 02-19-2013, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Cape Cod
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You don't hear about this much anymore but back in the day it seemed to be a somewhat common occurence from what I have read.
I remember a Family Guy episode when they did a little aside like they do and some Victorian age guys were sitting around jabbering about something when one of them announced "I'm going to spontaneously combust" and up in flames he went.
This sounds like a medical mystery but a probability. I believe it is possible.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:14 AM
 
Location: PRC
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Some TV program (maybe Horizon on BBC?) did an investigation into it and yes, it is entirely possible that the fat in the body catches fire and smoulders, the body fat burns and the clothes or blanket or whatever acts like an outside candle wick. They did an experiment with a pigs body and it almost totally burnt over the course of a few days. Very interesting program and probably on Youtube now.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:07 PM
 
621 posts, read 597,277 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pamelaBeurman View Post
It's entirely possible!

I never saw a case when I was in the FD but a couple of the old timers had. Freaked them right the heck out.
Almost all cases like this have an ignition source.
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Old 02-19-2013, 03:33 PM
 
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This, from Wikipedia:

"[SHC]...Natural explanations based on unknown or otherwise unobserved phenomena (e.g. that the production of abnormally concentrated gas or raised levels of blood alcohol might cause spontaneous ignition)
  • Natural explanations relating to health and lifestyle factors (e.g. smoking, not consuming adequate levels of water etc.)
  • Natural explanations that involve an external source of ignition (e.g. the victim was drunk and dropped a cigarette)
Objections to natural explanations typically refer to the degree of burning of the body with respect to its surroundings."

Same article also says, "There have been about 200 cited casesworldwide over a period of around 300 years."

Spontaneous human combustion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And this, along with a rather graphic photo:

"SHC is burning from the inside out. It certainly sounds strange but by now, most of us are familiar with this supposed phenomenon. Famous cases include Jack Angel’s account of SHC that led to his hand needing amputation, or Mary Reeser who was burned to a crisp and found with a shrunken skull. Even fiction has its examples of SHC, as seen in Charles Dickens' novel, Bleak House (Dickens was fascinated by the topic and researched it thoroughly).

"Already you can probably come up with a few facts off the top of your head that would debunk this mystery, but consider this: crematoriums pre-heat their furnaces to about 1837.4 degrees Fahrenheit, because the human body is relatively difficult to burn. It takes between one and two hours for tissue and major bones to become ashes. SHC victims are usually found in a liquid form, meaning their bodies had to burn at a temperature exceeding 2998 degrees Fahrenheit. And in some cases, not the entire body is burned and we’d expect to see burn marks all over the body in a traditional house fire scenario."
10 Bizarre Human Mysteries - Listverse
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:25 PM
 
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Its called the wick effect. There is always an open srouce of flame, stove, fireplace, cigarette ect. and low oxygen, no open windows ect. Its a slow burn. Its impossible for the human body that is 90 percent water to explode into flames.

http://www.podcast.com/Religion-and-...y/I-120612.htm
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:44 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hoooka View Post
Its called the wick effect. There is always an open srouce of flame, stove, fireplace, cigarette ect. and low oxygen, no open windows ect. Its a slow burn. Its impossible for the human body that is 90 percent water to explode into flames.

Spontaneous human combustion and
I tend to agree with you. We have a lot of fat just below the skin and that burns rather well. Not vigorously but well
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Old 02-20-2013, 09:26 PM
 
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I had heard of this phenomena many years ago but didn't pay much attention.

Then about a decade ago I was helping a nursing student do some research (I was a reference librarian) and came across a couple of medical journal articles that discussed some aspect of human physiology. Both were referring to the same [metabolic?] process and in side notes both said that, in effect, if it wasn't for this process, under certain conditions, the [human] organism would basically combust. Even though this wasn't relevant to the student's research, I found it so interesting that I saved the articles for awhile but alas have long since lost them.

I remember thinking at the time, "Who can say this process couldn't and has never gone awry?".

eta: Basically it was implied that combustion would be generated internally; nothing to do with any outside spark or source.
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