Scented candle fire extinguished

The SE Texas Record Dec. 30, 2012, 12:34pm

Everybody does something foolish once in awhile -- and most of us are tempted, occasionally, to look for a scapegoat. 

Maybe we leave the sprinkler on overnight and blame the senseless waste of water on the person who telephoned the previous evening and distracted us just as we were heading out the door to turn it off.

Maybe we miss a gallon of milk bringing in groceries from the car and it goes bad and makes the whole minivan stink. The neighbor who distracted us in the driveway to sell chocolates for the kid’s athletic team that day is surely at fault.

Or maybe we light one of those nice scented candles in the den downstairs to cover up the brain-curdling odor of the gym shoes Junior discarded there, forget to blow it out before going to bed, and the whole house burns down. Whom do we blame for that?

Not Junior, certainly. It may be, indirectly, his fault, but the party to be held accountable must be someone who can afford to rebuild our house, and the only money Junior has is the weekly allowance he gets from us and quickly squanders.

Ooh! Ooh! How about the company that made the candle? What kind of candle was it? Was it Glade? Who makes Glade scented candles? S.C. Johnson? Big company. Let’s sue them!

As it happens, Courtney Harris did file a lawsuit against S.C. Johnson in Jefferson County District Court in September 2011, blaming the company for a house fire allegedly started by a Glade scented candle. (Perhaps a ninja dispatched by the home products manufacturer sneaked into the house overnight to light it.)

Less than a year later, on a motion from Harris, the suit was dismissed – whether with or without a settlement is unknown. We hope without.

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