2 Fires Blamed on Spontaneously Combusting Tortilla Chips

Only in Texas
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2018 9:32 AM CDT
2 Fires Blamed on Spontaneously Combusting Tortilla Chips
Firefighters work to extinguish a fire caused by the "spontaneous combustion of tortilla chips."   (Austin Fire Department)

Normally, tortilla chips need a healthy topping of spicy salsa to be described as fiery. Not, as it turns out, in Austin, Texas. In a Wednesday Facebook post, fire officials described arriving at July 12 factory fire caused by the "spontaneous combustion of tortilla chips. Yes, you read that right." The factory had apparently been testing a new way to handle food waste from the making of the chips that "didn't work out so well." According to officials, boxes of the food waste suddenly burst into flame, setting fire to multiple pallets.

As firefighters responded, they watched as more boxes, separate from the fire, burst into flame on their own. "Then, to add insult to injury, additional (previously uninvolved) boxes of the same food waste spontaneously combusted just three days later," the post reads. Authorities say there was no damage in either fire, both of which were confined to the outside of a building, per CBS Austin. Firefighters eventually "drowned all of the other crates that had yet to burn, thereby eliminating the risk completely." (Read more strange stuff stories.)

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