Baby Suffers from Spontaneous Human Combustion, Catches Fire Four Times

A three-month-old infant named Rahul is currently being looked after in the pediatric intensive care unit at Kilpauk Medical College and Hospital in India after it was determined that he suffered from Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC).

Over the last 300 years, about 200 cited cases have been reported. In some cases, the body of the victim has been burned beyond recognition, while the surrounding materials, such as bedding and chairs have been left unscathed.

“The body burns spontaneously due to combustible gases emitting from the patient’s body, without any external source of ignition,” said Dr R. Narayana Babu, head of the pediatrics department, Kilpauk Medi­cal College. “Clothes and other things nearby that are inflammable may also catch fire.”

According to the International Business Times, Rahul was admitted to the hospital on Thur­sday with burn injuries. This is the fourth time he has experienced catching fire since being born. He was only nine days old the first time flames covered his body.

“We visited many hospitals and finally admitted him here. Nobody knows the exact cause. We hope he will be treated at  Kilpauk Medi­cal College,” said Rahul’s father, Karan, a farmer, and his wife, Rajeshwari, who stay near a village in Tindivanam.


Scientific understanding suggests that in cases of reported spontaneous combustion, there has always been a legitimate source of ignition, such as a burning cigarette, candle, or lantern flame.

“An episode may or may not recur. It’s like any other burn injury, with the likelihood of scars and secondary infections. Plastic surgery is also expected to be done. The relatives or parents have to always keep an eye on the baby. Matchsticks, crackers or anything that can catch fire should not be kept near him,” Dr Babu added.