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.

5 thoughts on “Office chair set on fire

  1. Oh dear, these are the types of news stories I used to write when I was a rookie reporter on a rural newspaper in Australia!

  2. Yes, I think from reading some of the comments that this reporter is the rookie Cumbrian eqivalent, Kim! But he’s achieved fame now, at least — maybe they’ll promote him now, for his nose for a good story that taps the popular mood.

  3. In my local Tipperary paper, The Nationalist, the main story one week was the official opening of a lift at one of the radio stations. I thought that was pretty sad and heaved a sigh of relief that I wasn’t a local celebrity or politician whose most exciting gig that week was to cut a ribbon in front of an elevator…

  4. There was another one today about a supermarket trolley that blew across a car park. Interesting world we live in.

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