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Spontaneous Combustion of Tortilla Chips Results in 2 Texas Hill Country Fires

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Two fires reported in the Texas Hill Country appear to be the result of spontaneously combusting tortilla chips. “Yes, you read that right,” says a Facebook post by the Austin Fire Department. On July 18 they reported having attended to not one, but two fires at a tortilla chip warehouse which were caused by spontaneous combustion.

Ideally, tortilla chip lovers load this tasty treat up with all manner of toppings, including hot and spicy salsa. Apparently, it wasn’t a requirement in this case. The Hill Country fire department stated in their post that the warehouse “was trying out a new way to handle the waste from the chips that, suffice it to say, didn’t work out so well. The fire was confined to the exterior of the building and to multiple pallets of food waste, but large cardboard boxes of the same waste continued to ignite while we were on scene!”

Spontaneous Combustion of Tortilla Chips Results in 2 Texas Hill Country Fires

Photo: Facebook/Austin Fire Department

Austin Fire Department officials also noted that just three days afterward, boxes of the same food waste spontaneously combusted once again. Officials have stated that both fires were confined to the exterior of the building, and no damage was caused in either fire. Ultimately, firefighters “drowned all of the other crates that had yet to burn, thereby eliminating the risk completely.” The fire department’s social media post managed to shed light on the brighter side of this catastrophe, saying, “Tortilla chips are big business around these parts. We take them seriously, as they are responsible for holding all manner of very important things—like queso, salsa, nachos, and various other sundry items that are critical to a Texan’s everyday life and well-being. So imagine how distressed we were to be called to a fire at a tortilla chip warehouse earlier this week… not once, but twice!” The result of a tortilla chip factory fire could be devastating on tailgating, bar scene, and late night snack inventories. Add that to the tequila shortage we’re presently facing, and you could see real anarchy in the Texas Hill Country!