Can a water bottle left in a car cause a fire? A fire department demonstrates

Posted at 1:05 PM, Jul 07, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-07 16:05:38-04

(KGTV) - While it will be important to stay hydrated throughout San Diego's current heat wave, could leaving a bottle of water behind in a car risk starting a fire?

In the right circumstances, it could happen. Midwest City Fire Department in Midwest City, Okla., tried out the rumor in a Facebook video.

The department's David Richardson demonstrated how in just 80-degree conditions, a water bottle placed in direct sunlight above a piece of paper could burn a hole through the paper.

Burning a hole through paper this way, however, is only likely under exact conditions.

"This was a clear bottle with a clear fluid in it," Richardson said. "If this was empty or partially filled, it probably wouldn't have worked or magnified this. Keep in mind that all the factors have to be in place for this to work."

It's not something many drivers or passengers may expect, especially when a heat wave strikes and water is necessary throughout the day.