'First Irish case' of death by spontaneous combustion


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Hum

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.

Michael Faherty, 76, died at his home in Galway on 22 December 2010.

Deaths attributed by some to "spontaneous combustion" occur when a living human body is burned without an apparent external source of ignition.

Typically police or fire investigators find burned corpses but no burned furniture.

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.

The court heard Mr Faherty had been found lying on his back with his head closest to an open fireplace.

The fire had been confined to the sitting room. The only damage was to the body, which was totally burnt, the ceiling above him and the floor underneath him.

Dr McLoughlin said he had consulted medical textbooks and carried out other research in an attempt to find an explanation.

He said Professor Bernard Knight, in his book on forensic pathology, had written about spontaneous combustion and noted that such reported cases were almost always near an open fireplace or chimney.

"This fire was thoroughly investigated and I'm left with the conclusion that this fits into the category of spontaneous human combustion, for which there is no adequate explanation," he said.

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Hum

The reason is the person desires death, and the mind sets the atomic reaction into motion. ;)

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guru

The reason is the person desires death, and the mind sets the atomic reaction into motion. ;)

have a source for that?

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Tartan

Indeed, there is no such thing as "spontaneous combustion" - it's simply an uneducated term leveled at a situation where they can not find a cause. That doesn't mean there wasn't one.

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neo1911

The southpark episode is better than this news :(

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Nick H.

have a source for that?

Wow. Some people really don't get Hum's humour...

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Hum

have a source for that?

The very best. ;)

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Farstrider

I would suppose anything's possible but this is one of those "phenomena" that I think is total bull****!

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Twiddle

Indeed, there is no such thing as "spontaneous combustion" - it's simply an uneducated term leveled at a situation where they can not find a cause. That doesn't mean there wasn't one.

Yes, but, spontaneous combustion sounds much cooler. If I have to go out due to a "natural cause," I hope it is spontaneous combustion. As much alcohol that riddles in my blood and stomach on a weekend, that would cause for a perfect time to turn me into a fireball. Sure beats cancer.

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Hum

Indeed, there is no such thing as "spontaneous combustion" - it's simply an uneducated term leveled at a situation where they can not find a cause. That doesn't mean there wasn't one.

Of course there was a 'cause' -- but that does not mean it was an ordinary, known science cause.

If there were a simple reason, there would not be a SHC mystery.

Some interesting things here:

http://www.castleofspirits.com/shc.html

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mudslag

Of course there was a 'cause' -- but that does not mean it was an ordinary, known science cause.

If there were a simple reason, there would not be a SHC mystery.

Some interesting things here:

http://www.castleofs...ts.com/shc.html

I guess when you say interesting by that you mean all third hand accounts that dont offer any chance of verification, let alone any info on the actual police or coroner reports. My guess would be that most of those reports, if they happened, happened during a time of which they didnt have proper techniques for testing back then or equipment. It's possible this coroner didnt have all the testing options available to him.

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Boo Berry

Yeah, I heard about this not too long ago. It's quite odd.

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HawkMan

Sonnear a pipe that offer ventilation, human body fat that canburn excellently like a candle, especially with good ventilation, alcol or drugs inducing a inconcius state, add a cigarette or something to ignite his clothes and there you are. Perfectly reasonable explanation, with the evidence (cig) burned to nothing but ashes.

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giantpotato

I'm a skeptic on most things 'supernatural', but spontaneous human combustion seems plausible to me, There have been plenty of cases of this happening. Of course I believe there is some kind of scientific explanation for it, but we just don't know what it is yet.

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