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Spontaneous Combustion | Definition of Spontaneous Combustion by Merriam-Webster

These are external links and will open in a new window. A man who burned to death in his home died as a result of spontaneous combustion, an Irish coroner has ruled.

West Galway coroner Dr Ciaran McLoughlin said it was the first time in 25 years of investigating deaths that he had recorded such a verdict. Deaths attributed by some to "spontaneous combustion" occur when a living human body is burned without an apparent external source of ignition.

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An inquest in Galway on Thursday heard how investigators had been baffled as to the cause of Mr Faherty's death at his home at Clareview Park, Ballybane. Forensic experts found that a fire in the fireplace of the sitting room where the badly burnt body was found, had not been the cause of the blaze that killed Mr Faherty. The court was told that no trace of an accelerant had been found and there had been nothing to suggest foul play.

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The court heard Mr Faherty had been found lying on his back with his head closest to an open fireplace. The source of heat must therefore have been in the nest itself. We may be allowed to suppose that something similar happens occasionally also in wasps' nests.

Such a heat might be caused by an alteration beginning in the wax, hydrocarbons being formed, which, on being absorbed by the paper-like, porous substance of the cell-walls, must get still more heated, so that a comparatively small access of oxygen would be sufficient to set the whole nest on fire. Reprints and Permissions.

Spontaneous human combustion in the light of the 21st century.

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate. Advanced search. Skip to main content. Leaders of that movement correctly noted that many fatal burning cases involved drinkers. In fact, Charles Dickens killed off a sot in his novel ''Bleak House'' by this means. Nickell said. Questions of general interest will be answered in this column, but requests for medical advice cannot be honored and unpublished letters cannot be answered individually.

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