If you really must do a live stream about your newly acquired “permanent match” lighter, best you don’t smoke a cigarette while you’re doing it. And maybe put aside your regular lighter. And take a bit more care with flammable liquids. You might want to remove nearby trash bags full of paper, too.
Broadcasting from his bedroom over the weekend, a guy in Japan ignored all of the above, his foolish attitude resulting in a live stream as spectacular as it was disastrous.
After four-and-a-half minutes spent fiddling about with his new gadget, the star of the stream finally manages to light the permanent match, a contraption that, as its name suggests, makes regular matches a thing of the past. Trouble is, because he failed to fully clear up an earlier oil spill, the lit flame is bigger than expected, causing him to drop the burning lighter on the floor.
As he tries to deal with the blaze to his left, he fails to notice another fire in a garbage bag to his right. At this point, members of his audience can be heard trying to alert him to the garbage fire behind him, with text-to-speech messages urging the unfortunate streamer to turn around.
From here the situation develops very quickly from bad to downright scary. For the next six minutes we witness the guy’s futile, and quite frankly abysmal, efforts to extinguish the growing fire using anything he can lay his hands on. Half a bottle of water. Cardboard boxes (yes, cardboard boxes), a blanket, more water. The audience sensibly suggests grabbing a fire extinguisher, or, here’s a good one: calling the fire department.
As the fire continues to rage, smoke fills the room and the stream finally cuts, presumably because the computer and all its innards melted.
While currently unconfirmed, some websites have linked the fire to an incident on Sunday on the island of Shikoku, about 350 miles south-west of Tokyo. Reports suggest the fire occurred on the second floor of a family home, and while no one died, three people are believed to have been treated for burns.
As for the hapless streamer, we suggest he stays well away from this particular contraption for his next live demo.