Well, this may be one for the record books if it turns out to be true.
In Bellevue, WA a glass dog bowl may be the cause of a deck fire.
The partially-filled bowl apparently concentrated the sun’s rays like a magnifying glass, said Lt. Eric Keenan, the department’s community liaison officer.
“It’s very unusual, but it’s not unheard of,” he said.
The 11-inch-diameter bowl was elevated above the wooden deck in a wire stand, Keenan said. “There was nothing else in that area that could be identified as a fire source – no smokers, no electrical devices.”
No one was home when the fire started just before 3 p.m. Neighbors called in the alarm when they noticed flames and smoke.
The deck was destroyed and the adjacent kitchen badly burned. Total damage was estimated at about $215,000.
The family’s two dogs were both apparently unhurt, Keenan said.
So far no other cause has been found. Bellevue has finished its investigation and now the insurance company will examine the case.
University of Washington atmospheric scientist Steve Warren says the dog-bowl theory sounds far-fetched, but not impossible. “The shape, the height and the angle of the sun would have to be just right,” said Warren, whose research involves measurement of solar radiation.
If the insurance company does pay out they’ll probably have to come up with a new claim code for this one.