Arkansas family suspects meteorite caused smoking hole in their deck

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Oct. 26 (UPI) -- An Arkansas family who awoke to the smell of fire discovered a smoking hole in their deck -- and they suspect a meteorite may have been to blame.

John Devane of Greenwood said he and his family awoke to the smell of smoke inside their house about 3 a.m. and set about searching for the source.


They discovered the smoke was coming from a hole in their deck, which had apparently caught fire.

Devane said the flames had been extinguished when a corner of the family's hot tub melted from the heat, causing it to pour water onto the deck.

Firefighters investigated the hole in the deck and were unable to identify the likely cause, other than that it appeared the fire had started from the ground.

Devane said he and his family later sorted through the debris with a magnet and found a small magnetic rock in the hole left by the fire.

The family suspects the rock might be the remains of a meteorite, but to confirm their suspicions it would have to be examined by the U.S. Geological Survey, a process that can take well over a year to complete.


A California family had a similar experience in August, when a ball of ice fell out of the sky and crashed through the roof of Jon LeClair's house in Big Bear.

The family said they were unable to get any answers as to whether the bowling ball-sized ice chunk was the remains of a meteorite or if it had fallen from a passing airplane.

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