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Darwin Awards
2001 Personal Accounts
Email a Friend The Darwin Awards salutes the spirit portrayed in the following personal accounts, submitted by loyal (and sometimes reluctant) readers. Next Prev Random

 
 
Firebug
2001 Personal Account

I was 15 in the summer of 1994, and I needed to mow the lawn. As I walked into the garage on a mission to refuel the lawnmower, I was diverted by the sight of ants streaming everywhere. I couldn't find any bug spray, but I did find the gas can for the lawnmower. Gasoline would kill the ants!

I began to pour fuel on the ants. My extermination plan was working well, but the process was kind of boring. I thought to myself, "Fire is exciting... and the garage floor is concrete, so I won't hurt anything..."

So there I was lighting my ant-killing gas puddles, selecting bigger and bigger ones each time. Suddenly I noticed that the gasoline can was on fire! I tried to kick it out of the garage, but instead it landed in the corner where Mom kept wooden poles for the garden. They went up in a flash.

I grabbed the burning gasoline can and tossed it in the driveway -- where the lawnmower stood waiting for me to stop killing ants and remember my chore. The lawnmower caught fire, so I shoved it down the driveway to keep it from exploding near me. By the time it blew up across the street, the fire had spread in the garage.

I was calling 911 when I heard a loud BOOM! Evidently there had been a propane tank by the late tomato poles. It certainly wasn't there anymore, if you know what I mean! I hung up the phone and grabbed the garden hose, and began fighting the flames.

The fire department finally arrived and controlled the blaze. I had caused $15,000 in damage to the house and garage, and suffered second degree burns on my legs and the hand I used to grab the burning gasoline can. I'm still alive by divine miracle, and not ONCE since then have I started a conflagration.

I earned the nickname Firebug, and the ants never came back.

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Submitted by: Bryan Krallman

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