My contact at the National Christmas Tree Association says that every Christmas the organization has to contend with staged tree immolations that make real Christmas trees seem far more of a fire hazard than they really are. In fact, he says, fire marshalls often douse trees with accelerants (i.e. gasoline or some suitable combustible agent) to make the demonstration more vivid for the television cameras. He offers this clip from The Tonight Show in which a Florida fire official is caught doing just that.
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