SF fire officials demo how fast trees catch fire

December 17, 2012 6:38:15 PM PST
Too lazy to water your Christmas tree? San Francisco fire officials set a dry tree on fire to show how quickly it can turn into a fireball. One pine burned to ashes in just 90 seconds.

Menlo Park officials held their own demonstration. They couldn't light a properly watered tree after several tries, but a candle next to a drape turned a tiny room into an inferno in just minutes. The flames spread to other parts of the room and when the Christmas tree finally catches fire, that is the flash point and a fireball overtakes the room.

It's estimated 400 people die every year from holiday related fires in the U.S. each year.