Evidently firefighting was a tough game to play for the people of Norwich in 1917. A wristwatch with a piece of paper caught in it, a magnifying glass, and the sun's rays together translated into a fire which went undetected until it morphed into a mighty conflagration because no one wanted to be outside in the snow that Sunday. Sounds like #firstworldproblems.
The writer said that even if people are around for a fire, it can grow out of control quickly for these apparently common reasons:
"The fire-bucket was empty."
"The fire-hose was too far away."
"Somebody lost his head."
"Nobody could operate the extinguisher."
This "story" is actually a cleverly disguised advertorial for Grinnell Automatic Sprinkler System, so maybe (hopefully) it's not true. Otherwise, the people of Norwich certainly should've gotten their acts together.
Read the full story in The Watch That Caused A Fire!