Office chair set on fire

A story in the Westmoreland Gazette, a Cumbrian local paper, has become a hot favourite on the Internet:

“An office chair was destroyed after it was set on fire on the grassy area off Maude Street, Kendal, this afternoon. Fire crews from Kendal attended along with police. A spokesman for the fire and rescue service said: ‘A delinquent set fire to an office chair in the middle of a grassy area and it was extinguished using one hose jet’.”

That was the extent of the story. But in the strange snowballing way of the online medium, it first attracted comments of pity, followed by flights of fancy by readers, ending up as a global running joke.  " ‘This is not the most crime-ridden or busiest of areas, and it’s difficult to get much material from calls to the police and fire brigade,’ Mike Glover, the editor and publisher, said. ‘We took the the attitude that local news sells local newspapers. People will have wondered what the fire brigade were doing.’ "

Source: The Times.

Westmoreland Gazette: Chair destroyed. (original story, with many comments)

Westmoreland Gazette: Destroyed chair story continues to draw comments.