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1974, April 26: Elderly Man’s Fiery Death

The Legend:

On April 26, 1974, an elderly man in San Francisco, California, USA, was sitting on a sofa when his wife went to the garage for a few minutes; shortly after, his wife smelled smoke and so came back in to investigate... and found the man engulfed by flames. He died without explaning what had happened.

Unreliable

        This is the first listing of this incident in Anomalies, and therefore will require more research to confirm it. This is especially true because the above comes from Jenny Randles and Peter Hough's 1992 book, Spontaneous Human Combustion; this book gives almost no sources for the accounts it relates, most often attributing them to "Author's own investigation" and "Historical archives traced and researched"... which essentially means "Just trust us." In this case, the above is attributed to Fortean Times magazine, but we are not told a date or issue number. For this reason, this account is marked as both "Unreliable" and "Investigate;" I will add new information as I get a chance to dig further.