It seems like common sense not to mix spray paint and fire, but a Tomahawk man faces felony charges for doing just that.
Lincoln County authorities say Ryan Pepple, 20, arrived at an underage drinking party in the Town of Bradley on June 2. According to a news release, Pepple caused a physical confrontation with at least one person at the gathering. Deputies say Pepple then retrieved a can of spray paint from his vehicle, placed it in a fire, returned to his vehicle, and left at a high rate of speed after it exploded.
Four people had to be treated for their injuries. A 17-year-old Tomahawk woman was flown to the UW-Madison Burn Center. She's since been released.
Pepple was arrested a short time later. During the search a deputy found a bag of marijuana.
In court Monday, a Lincoln Co. judge set bail at $2,500 and said Pepple couldn't have contact with those who were present at the party.
Now, firefighters in the area are speaking out about just how dangerous it can be to play with chemicals and fire. The Merrill Fire Dept. fire chief says any container under pressure, like a can of spray paint or hair spray, is going to explode when it heats up.
"So not only does the vessle rupture, which will have pieces of metal flying around, you also have the burning embers, which are being thrown just as violently," said Fire Chief Bob Odegard.
Odegard says spray paint is especially dangerous because paint is extremely flammable.
The motive behind Pepple's alleged actions isn't clear, but even if someone puts a dangerous substance into flames on accident, police may still issue a fine.