Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Apartment Fire Caused by Man Flaming Squirrel with Blow Torch

A tree squirrel, being adorable.

A tree squirrel, being adorable.

Investigators have determined that a fire that broke out in a Holland Township, Mich., apartment complex around 12:30 p.m. on October 10, 2012, was caused by a man preparing lunch for himself. Specifically, he was preparing to cook a squirrel for himself, and was out on his third-floor deck with a propane torch trying to burn all the hair off of it first. For those of you not up to date on squirrel gastronomy, there seem to be two main schools of thought on hair removal: There’s the more traditional method of skinning the animal, and then there’s flaming it off with a blow torch and cooking it in the skin. The sheer destructiveness of the fire indicates that there are serious potential drawbacks to the latter method of varmint epilation.

The fire quickly spread to the roof engulfing and destroying part of the building. In all, the fire destroyed eight units, and caused extensive smoke damage to the lower floors, leaving 32 apartments uninhabitable and those tenants homeless. The Red Cross is providing temporary shelter for the displaced residents. No one was hurt, exept one fire firghter who injured a toe.

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