Birdwatching Canada

A voice for the northern birds

Arson Birds

A sparrow is apparently the culprit behind a fire at a shop in Lincolnshire, England that caused £250,000 ($450,000 Cdn) worth of damage.

At first, the owner of the store and the fire brigade were at a loss as to what started the blaze. An investigation immediately after the fire found no electrical or gas faults.

Then the forensic investigator from the insurance company, AXA, told the shop owner they had enough evidence to conclude that it was a sparrow that took up a cigarette end into the roof.

Insurance investigators concluded that a sparrow must have picked up a smouldering cigarette butt and deposited it among the dry twigs of its nest under the eaves. Thirty-five cigarette ends were eventually found in various sparrows’ nests in the roof.

An AXA spokesman said: ‘We believe it’s the first case of its kind we’ve ever had to deal with. We had to bring in a specialist to investigate.” I’ve certainly never come across this sort of thing before. It’s strange to think how such a little bird armed with such a small object could cause such chaos.”

Oh, and the species? It was a house sparrow.

House Sparrow

House Sparrow


Filed under: Songbirds, , ,

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