Crispy Christmas trees: Staged fire shows potential risks

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) " It only takes a minute for a crispy Christmas tree to touch off a raging inferno.

That's what researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts discovered when they touched a tree with a blowtorch in a mock living room and videotaped the results.

It took only 63 seconds for the entire room to become engulfed in flames.

A freshly harvested Christmas tree that was left unwatered for three weeks was used for the exercise, recreating conditions that often occur after people decorate their homes for the holidays.

The National Fire Protection Association says Christmas trees caused an average of 210 house fires a year between 2009 and 2013. Those fires killed seven people, injured 19 others and caused $17.5 million in property damage.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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