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.
More and more areas in the United States are banning the devices, most recently the state of Oregon and Pismo Beach, California. Wildfire Today has written about these dangerous toys before.