Burning memories too hot to handle

9 September, 1992 (~estimated)

Burning memories too hot to handle

By Adam Miller
Staff Writer

A 21-yew-old township resident, who was burning letters and photos in his backyard to forget some memories, set fire to more than he bargained for on Aug. 6 — his pyrotechnics also ignited a nearby wooden shed and three possums living under it, according to police and firefighters.

The letters, photos and shed survived considerably worse for wear, but the possums were dead on arrival, firefighters said.

After Inseok Cha of 56 Clearview Ave. placed his memory-laden epistles and pictures in flowerpot and added gas, a he took ceramic a match to his lovelorn past, police said.

But the petrol and paper did not bum easily, so Mr. Cha grabbed his plastic container of gasoline and poured some more over the smoldering stationery and snapshots, police said.

According to police, flames from the sizzling foe leapt up the stream of flammable liquid into the container, setting it aflame. Mr. Cha’s efforts to put out the burgeoning blaze with a tree stump spread the flames to the adjacent wooden shed that housed the possums, fire-fighters said.

The Princeton Fire Department arrived at the backyard, which abuts the Princeton Shopping Center, at approximately 5:40 p.m. and put out the blaze, police said.

Mr. Cha at first denied knowing how the fire had started, but after firefighters noticed the half-scorched letters and photos that littered the ground he embarrassedly confessed to setting the fire and his motivation for doing to — he and his girlfriend had broken up recently and reminders of her upset him, firefighters said.

No one was injured in the blaze and police did not charge Mr. Cha, firefighters said.

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