Firefighters and a store owner in Minnesota learned a valuable lesson when they discovered sunlight and vodka can be a dangerous combination.
Earlier this month, Dave Hautman, owner of Red Lion Liquors in Burnsville Minn., received a call informing him his business had caught on fire. Hautman was a cautious businessman, doing whatever he could to keep his business, employees and customers safe. He had even gone so far as to install bullet proof glass in the store front windows. The glass may have kept burglars out of the store, but it could not protect against a very unusual culprit.
Rays of sunlight streaming through the glass were refracted through a vodka bottle in a cardboard display case according to Discovery News. The glass bottle acted as a magnifying glass, focusing the light beams onto the cardboard, causing the cardboard to slowly ignite. The display was eventually set ablaze, causing tops on the vodka bottles to pop off, literally adding fuel to the fire. Flames soared as high as 12 feet into the air due to the exploding bottles.
Hautman told KMSP:
"It's the unexpected things that can kind of sucker punch you. It was just this freak thing."
The entire bizarre incident was caught on the store's surveillance cameras. As firefighters watched the video, Hautman said they were fascinated.
"It was entertaining. The firefighters were standing next to me like they were watching a new video game. They were going, 'This is so cool!'"
After two weeks of clean up and repairs, including tinting the glass to prevent the situation from happening again, the store is back in business.
As Life's Little Mysteries points out, thank goodness for the surveillance video. Convincing the insurance adjuster that sunlight and a bottle of vodka was responsible for the blaze may have been a bit difficult otherwise.