1980, May 13: Birmingham Student’s Fiery Accident

The Legend:

On May 13, 1980, a 20-year-old student in Birmingham, West Midlands, England, woke to find his bed aflame. Friends smothered the fire with pillows. He died soon after in a hospital, having received serious burns to his neck, chest, abdomen, arms and legs.


        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 Tony McMunn but we are not told if it's from a book or interview, or any other information that would help track the source down. 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.

        The event described also does not appear to have anything to do with spontaneous human combustion, as the bed was on fire and the victim died later from burns taken from the bed.

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