Dr. Bentley

   In 1966  Dr. John Irving Bentley  a well respected and loved physician,  was consumed by fire in the bathroom of his home. The only damage to the house was a 30" by 48" hole in the bathroom floor over the basement. This case got national attention and was on several TV shows and books about Spontaneous Human Combustion. Spontaneous Human Combustion is (what some people think) is the ability for the human body to burst out in flames with no external help.

   Critics do not agree. The human body is mostly water, but it is possible if the fire is hot enough for body fat to act like a candle and help keep the fire going.

    Most people think his death was not Spontaneous Human Combustion, but just an unfortunate accident. The elderly ninety-year-old doctor smoked a pipe and kept wooden matches in the pockets of his robe. He probably accidentally set his clothes on fire and made his way to the bathroom where he fell to the floor. His burning clothing could have ignited the flammable linoleum and under that was hardwood flooring and wooden beams, which was commonly used in construction in those days.   The "chimney effect", cool air drawn from the basement, could have kept the fire burning hotly.

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