The vodka did it. Lots of fires have been blamed on alcohol, but not quite this way.


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Many, many fires have been fueled by alcohol. More accurately many, many people who have started those fire have been the ones fueled by alcohol. In Burnsville, Minnesota alcohol took a more direct role in starting a fire at the closed Red Lion Liquors on October 28 and it was caught on video. Which is a good thing, because without the proof (80 proof Karkov vodka in this case) it might have been hard to believe.

Maury Glover, KMSP-TV:

Surveillance cameras captured the slow-starting fire, which began with smoke billowing from a display of vodka bottles. Soon, a small paper sign on top simply melts away.

Eventually, the heat got so intense that the tops popped off of the vodka bottles, spraying streams of steaming liquor. In the end, the display caught fire, sending some flames shooting up to 12 feet in the air.

It turns out that sunlight coming through the window turned the vodka bottles into a magnifying glass, slowly starting the cardboard on fire while a ceiling fan above fanned the flames.

Even the Burnsville fire marshal had never seen anything like it.

“It was entertaining,” (owner Dave) Hautman recalled. “The firefighters were standing next to me like they were watching a new video game. They were going, ‘This is so cool!'”