The reason for my surprise was not just that the event occurred, nor even that the coroner had officially recognized this on the basis of the evidence, but that just a couple of days ago I'd been thinking to myself how, in this age of 'modern' reporting and forensic science, you never hear of this happening and that it was therefore a load of old tosh!
A long while ago, I came across a book on the subject with the title of this blog post - Fire from Heaven. Frankly, the cases it reported seemed to me to belong with stories about UFOs - whacky events with scarcely-credible witnesses. Some people might even say it belonged in the same category hinted at in the title - of unlikely biblical 'miracles'.
Yet here we are in 2011 with not only this being the recorded cause of death, but everything about it apparently fitting with the 'tradition' of these cases - an entirely, or almost entirely, burned-up human body, with very little 'colateral' damage to the immediate surroundings.
There's an interesting bit of blogging about it here, including the fact (which I'd forgotten, not that I've read the book) that Charles Dickens describes a case in Bleak House.
Perhaps a little less scepticism on my part is now called for!
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