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Pants on fire?

Gazette staff February 27th, 2013

Whether spontaneous human combustion is real has long been a debate in the scientific world, to say nothing of the world of bong hits in the dorm room. It has neither been proven nor disproven, although there are many theories as to how it might occur, and suspected cases date back to the 17th century.

Credit: Brad Gregg

Sequoyah County Sheriff Ron Lockhart believes 65-year-old Danny Vanzandt might be a victim of this strange phenomenon. Vanzandt’s charred remains were found in his kitchen, but there appeared to be no structural damage to the house and no evidence of accelerants.

Lockhart, a onetime arson investigator, said he’s never encountered a case like it.

“This is very bizarre. You’re thinking someone poured something on him, but there was no fire source,” the sheriff said. “The body was burned and incinerated. I think there’s only 200 cases worldwide. I’m not saying this (spontaneous combustion) is what it is, but I haven’t ruled it out.”

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