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Can a burst of flames appear without leaving any trace?

FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
edited December 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
Thread title might sound weird, so here's the situation: I was playing a videogame on my TV in my living room when I saw a very brief orange flash in the corner of my eye. It,s hard to really tell what I saw exactly because I was sleepy and not directly looking in that direction when it happened but it seemed to have originated a bit above floor height behind my TV stand where my surge protector is. Immediately the first thought that came to my mind was fire so I stood up and got closer to see if anything had caught fire. Couldn't see anything wrong but still turned off and unplugged the surge protector. The TV stand had been pushed too far back so all the cables were pretty close to the baseboard convection heater on the wall behind.

But the thing is I looked at every plug that was connected to the surge protector and all of them are still bright and clean without any sign of damage. All the cables look fine, as does the surge protector. The heater was running but was just a bit warm... no signs of fire damage. I just can't figure out what happened. The surge protector does have an orange light in it's switch but I somehow doubt this could've made what seemed to be a smallish but bright orange shape. Everything still works fine as if nothing happened but i'm gonna leave the surge protector unplugged and that heater turned off for the night since having no idea what happened makes me a bit paranoid.

PSN: PatParadize Fireflash#1425
Steam Friend code: 45386507
Fireflash on


  • JebusUDJebusUD Adventure! Candy IslandRegistered User regular
    You sure your eyes aren't playing tricks on you? Still wise to keep your stuff unplugged. One would think that if there were some kind of flame the breaker would have popped, though.

    I don't have courage but I have something else.
  • The EnderThe Ender Registered User regular
    There's usually some indication if something actually caught fire, even if just for a brief moment (a bit of smoke, smell, visible damage, etc) - but it's probably wise to keep stuff unplugged overnight just to be safe if you think you saw a lick of flame emitted from something.

    I'd be willing to bet it was just your eyes playing a trick on you, though.

    With Love and Courage
  • rtsrts Registered User regular
    Is this a joke related to your username?

    skype: rtschutter
  • garroad_rangarroad_ran Registered User regular
    What I usually do in these situations is go right back to whatever it was I was doing, and try to duplicate the conditions that led to me seeing whatever it was I saw.

    More often than not I've found I can replicate whatever it was I saw, and thus prove that it was eye trickery or a reflection of some sort.

  • FireflashFireflash Montreal, QCRegistered User regular
    Hah no not a joke at all. But since after extensive observation I couldn't find any signs of damage I guess I maybe my mind was playing tricks on me. I'll just keep on playing and see what happens. I hope this isn't a sign of me going mad!

    PSN: PatParadize Fireflash#1425
    Steam Friend code: 45386507
  • DraygoDraygo Registered User regular
    In nearly all cases of fire of any type even flash ones there definatly should be a smell.

    If you arnt smelling anything unusual then I would bet it wasnt a fire at all.

  • DerrickDerrick Registered User regular
    Personally, If I thought I saw a large spark or fire around a surge protector I'd just get another surge protector for the spot and make sure the socket isn't overloaded.

    It never hurts to be safe.

    Steam and CFN: Enexemander
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Maybe you should buy a smoke detector in case the problem is real.

    However it sounds like your eyes played tricks on you. Perhaps, since you were sleepy, you actually fell asleep for a brief second and dreamed it.

  • Gabriel_PittGabriel_Pitt (effective against the Irish) Registered User regular
    Fire also tends to not be quiet, so if something ignited vigorously enough there should have been a sound, as well as the smell of something scorched or burning, not to mention the sight of something scorched or burning.

  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    A fire has to burn something. It's possible for a spontaneous-seeming fireball to appear if some flammable gas ignites or something, but that seems unlikely to be the situation here.

    Any electrical surge big enough to spark a flame would leave noticeable burns at the outlet and possibly along the walls where the wire runs

    hold your head high soldier, it ain't over yet
    that's why we call it the struggle, you're supposed to sweat
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