Bill Grant recently revealed the truth behind his parents’ kitchen renovation back in 1930. Jack and Frankie Grant’s house in Barron, WI, had a storage shed just outside the kitchen. Among other items, the shed held a tank of gasoline for the car. One afternoon when Jack was out, Frankie asked Bill (then about 12 years old) to fill up the car for her. In the dark shed, Bill couldn’t see if the tank held enough gas…so he lit a match.
Mercifully unscathed, Bill reported to his parents that the tank had “spontaneously combusted”—both to preserve his hide and guarantee payment from the insurance company. When the scorched kitchen was redone, it grew to include the area of the ex-shed.