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Alleged Arsonist Learns Fundamental Property of Gasoline as Act Literally Blows Up in Her Face

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When you play with fire, you get burned.

The phrase is many things: a tale as old as time, a piece of wisdom so commonly parroted it has grown cliché, and, of course, a lesson learned by most folks in grade school.

Yet, for some, that lesson doesn’t come until the mid-20s — and when it does, it comes the hard way.

Such is life for 26-year-old Sydney Parham, who wound up in both police custody and the infirmary on July 22 after a foolish fire-related incident.

According to The Associated Press, the Fraser, Michigan, native was arrested on one count of third-degree arson after she allegedly triggered an unplanned explosion while attempting to torch her neighbor’s vehicle.

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Fortunately for Parham, she escaped the incident with minor injuries, and no one else was hurt.

The powers that be apparently were unwilling to allow her off the hook easily, however, forcing the woman to learn on candid camera, recorded by an uninvolved third party.

Was justice already served here?

The resulting video, which has gone viral, reveals a hooded and mask-clad woman, allegedly Parham, pouring liquid gasoline into the open rear window of a black Jeep SUV parked outside her apartment in Harrison Township.

Moments later, the woman appears to insert a sparked hand-held grill lighter inside the vehicle, triggering a minor explosion.

The resulting puff of fire and smoke shatters the car windows, lifting the woman off her feet and sending her flying into a nearby vehicle. Crawling to her feet, the alleged arsonist grabs her gasoline canister and makes for the metaphorical exits.

Shortly after the video stopped rolling, The AP reported, fire crews arrived to put out the blaze.

Parham later was arrested outside her home with the help of eye-witness testimony.

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In Clinton Township, where Parham was charged, she was released from jail on $20,000 personal bond. Her next appearance in court is slated for Aug. 5.

If the alleged arsonist had thought ahead, she might have studied the properties of gasoline — not that one would expect broad-daylight arsonists to do much thinking.

A dynamic substance in its liquid state, gasoline is known to evaporate into — and rest in — the air in small quantities. This, in turn, is known to create a dangerously flammable atmosphere that can ignite quickly.

As such, the decision to immediately introduce an open flame to the vehicle before allowing potentially evaporated gasoline to dissipate was, of course, bad.

But play stupid games, win stupid prizes, I suppose.

At least this incident of unbridled stupidity might serve as a lesson to the left’s growing band of punk, social-justice arsonists.

Then again, it probably won’t.

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Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal. Having joined up as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, he went on to cover the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for the outlet, regularly co-hosting its video podcast, "WJ Live," as well.
Andrew J. Sciascia was the supervising editor of features at The Western Journal and regularly co-hosted the outlet's video podcast, "WJ Live."

Sciascia first joined up with The Western Journal as a regular contributor of opinion in 2018, before graduating with a degree in criminal justice and political science from the University of Massachusetts Lowell, where he served as editor-in-chief of the student newspaper and worked briefly as a political operative with the Massachusetts Republican Party.

He covered the Barrett confirmation and 2020 presidential election for The Western Journal. His work has also appeared in The Daily Caller.