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Verify: Can an unattended water bottle start a fire in a sunny car?

A Midwest heat wave is stirring safety concerns about whether water bottles left in a car could start a fire.

HOUSTON — Starting a fire with water sounds far-fetched at first. A heat wave sweeping across the Midwest has rekindled an old online video that has viewers asking us, can a bottle of water start a fire?

KHOU verified if an unattended water bottle can start a fire in a sunny car.

In 2017, energy company, Idaho Power, posted a video online where an employee explains that he left his water on a seat cushion, sunlight beamed through the bottle and smoldered a hole in his seat.

Staff recreated the phenomenon using the bottle to concentrate the sunlight to smolder another hole in the seat. Think, little kid with magnifying glass and ants.

Right now, fire departments across the nation are warning drivers not to leave unattended water bottles in their cars.

But don’t get too worried. Conditions must be just right. Firefighters say it must be a clear bottle filled with a clear liquid held at the perfect angle to start a fire.

Knowing it’s possible, we can verify that an unattended bottle of water can start a fire in a sunny car.