#Poetry – My lighter exploded

My stories are created from true stories shared by people I meet, or places I go. For this rhyme I have included news to show the time lapse of a burning issue. So sad.

Exploding lighter a warning for smokers

It was a lighter he said that she’d thrown on the dash, a lighter that exploded with an almighty flash. My eyes teared up, I knew not what to say. Her face caught on fire and is still scarred today. Through one simple action one life can change course. He shared they made lighters now that don’t explode with such force.

So I looked to the web to see if that was true, and saw article after article of the damage they do. I read on with sadness as from what I could see, little had changed since Leonie’s story. If anything I read of severe burns and life lost, of cheap lighters exploding … and oh what a cost.

There is no moral to this story so I just want to say, that it may look convenient but keep it out of harms way. Respect it’s dangers. Keep it in a safe place. Keep it out of hot spaces and away from your face.

BY DEE GRANT 2020

For Leonie

  • 1987 – Philadelphia, U.S.A – “Bic settled for $3.25 million after the jury found the company liable for the extensive burns suffered by Cynthia Littlejohn, a Philadelphia woman who was on a camping trip when the Bic lighter in her front pocket ignited, engulfing her in flames”.- New York Times
  • 2010 – Wagga Wagga, Australia “Leonie Whittacker has learned, to her cost, just how dangerous cigarette lighters can be. She is currently recovering from third degree burns to her face, neck, and hands after the lighter she was using exploded” – Daily Advertiser https://www.dailyadvertiser.com.au/story/735802/exploding-lighter-a-warning-for-smokers/
  • 2011 – Stephenville, Texas, U.S.A “William B Clemmer, a machinist from Stephenville, Texas was only 56 when he died. His last words, en route to a Dallas hospital, were: ‘My lighter exploded’…(he) died of severe burns over more than half of his body” – Safety Research.net
  • 2017 – Donnybrook, WA, Australia “A young mother has been left with severe burns to her face after a butane lighter she was using blew up”
  • 2017 – Birmingham, England “Rachel Cooper, a grandmother from Rotherham, England, was left with severe burns on her face and chest after a lighter exploded in front of her and her granddaughter” – Good Housekeeping
  • 2019 – “Canton fire investigators believe a cheap, Chinese imported lighter exploded, burning a Canton man and costing him his home and companion dog” – Canton Rep
  • 2019 – Gympie, Australia “Can lighters explode in your car? Gympie resident finds out after 40 degree day” – ABC News Sunshine Coast

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