It used to be that two gentlemen who found themselves in a heated feud could settle things in a civilized manner with pistols at 20 paces. Man-versus-man on equal ground fighting each other to the death. The practice has been outlawed since the 17th century. Two British army officers decided to revive the tradition…with a modern twist. The used flare guns instead of firearms — with unintended consequences. From Forces TV:
Two officers attempting to settle a disagreement by duelling with flares at a British Army base have set fire to the officers mess, according to Forces TV sources.
The officers decided the solution to their argument was to each take a kayak into the swimming pool and fire flare guns at each other at the Allenby Barracks in Bovington on Friday night.
One of the flares managed to set the seven-story building alight.
While I applaud the officers’ ingenuity, their aim could use a little work. It turns out that the building they accidentally set ablaze didn’t have a working sprinkler system due to an outbreak of legionnaires disease earlier in the year.
Ten fire crews arrived at the base from across the county to tackle the blaze which was on the top floor, although not all were needed.
Sources at the base said the fire service used water from the swimming pool, emptying it as they tackled the fire.
They said the building was unusable and the ground floor remained underwater.
Our intrepid irresponsible flare gun owners of the day thus destroyed the officers’ mess. Eat hearty, boys.