Flaming hole in Arkansas found to be intentionally set, not the work of Satan or meteorite


Officials say a fire that caused a mysterious burning hole in Arkansas in September was intentionally set and not the result of a meteorite, methane or work of the devil.

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reported Sunday that Baxter County authorities used soil samples to identify various flammable chemicals typically found in paint thinners where a 12-foot-tall (3.6 meter) fire spurted from a hole in the ground. The fire burned for around 40 minutes. Authorities say it may have been a prank.

Initial speculation ranged from serious, such as a possible leaking natural gas line, to far-fetched. Officials in Midway, about 120 miles (200 km) north of Little Rock, easily dismissed suggestions that the fire was caused by Satan or a meteorite.