A French amateur psychic‘s powers of prediction are under sharp scrutiny after his crystal ball started an inferno that burnt out his flat.
British newspaper The Times reports that the fortune-telling device caused a fire that destroyed two other flats and rendered several more uninhabitable.
Herve Vandrot, 24, who studies botany at Edinburgh University, left his trusty crystal ball on a windowsill while he sauntered off to the city’s Royal Botanical Garden.
He returned surprised to find his top floor flat ablaze and suffered blistering to a hand after dashing in to rescue some course work.
He was dragged out of the building by some of the 35 firefighters, who rushed to tackle the inferno.
Mr Vandrot had only been in the flat for two weeks.
After a night in hospital, Mr Vandrot insisted the crystal ball was not to blame.
“I don’t think it is capable of doing that. I think it was an electrical fault; the plug of my computer was melted.”
However, Edinburgh firefighters say they could see it coming.
“Strong sunlight through glass, particularly if the glass is filled with liquid like a goldfish bowl, concentrates the sun’s rays and acts like a magnifying glass,” a spokesman said.
“The fire had been started by the ball concentrating a ray of sunshine on a pile of washing.”