A fire balloon caused a massive and very destructive structure fire in the UK Sunday night. Fire Geezer has the details, but a security camera caught the device, sometimes called a Chinese lantern or sky lantern, falling into a plastic recycling plant which then ignited causing about $10 million in damages.
Some people in the UK are outraged about these devices, and want a ban on them to prevent similar incidents and “appalling tragedy”.
These incendiary devices use burning material such as rubbing alcohol or a candle to heat the air in a bag made of tissue paper or very thin plastic. The heat makes the device lighter than air causing it to rise into the sky, staying aloft for 10 minutes to 2 hours. They can be very pretty to watch especially when they are released dozens or hundreds at a time such as at a wedding or some other celebration. The problem is they are uncontrollable and sometimes start wildfires or structure fires.