Ben and Nicole Vinson have a warning for DIYers after their home caught fire because of a Pinterest project, according to fire investigators with North Metro Fire Rescue.
The 2-story home caught fire last week after a child's birthday party, forcing 11 people inside to flee, officials said. Investigators traced the fire to a decorated candle, which was the Vinson's Pinterest project: a large candle placed inside a glass vase with painted acorns.
While most accidental fires can be sourced back to a critical mistake, the Vinson's didn't do anything wrong, according to investigators. The Vinson's made sure the candles were blown out when the party was over and they went to sleep around 11 p.m. They woke up to smoke and flames at about 5 a.m. the next morning.
"There was just smoke billowing everywhere," Nicole says, "It was raging."
Family members had flown in for the birthday party and nearly a dozen people were inside the home, firefighters said. The fire grew within several minutes, causing damage to most of the home.
The Vinsons watched their home burn down wondering what in the world could have caused the fire.
"We kind of casually mentioned the acorns to the fire investigator and he was like, 'oh, acorns.' It all came together," Ben said.
North Metro Fire's Division Chief Steve Gosselin says the acorns were really hot when the glass containing them shattered for some reason, causing the acorns to scatter to areas with combustible materials.
"It probably smoldered for awhile and burned at a lower level," he said.
The Vinsons never thought those factors could come together to create a disaster that will displace them for months.
"You just don't think about marrying all these materials and how those could cause a different chain reaction," Nicole said.
Nothing about Vinson's Pinterest candle looked hazardous which can fool plenty of DIYers, according to Chief Gosselin.
Considering the amount of damage the fire caused in several minutes, the Vinsons are grateful because it could have been far worse.
"We're all alive at the end of the day," Nicole said, "all we can do is kind of laugh at this point."
Firefighters are happy to advise residents on what DIY projects are safe, according to North Metro Fire.