1.12. A woman in France in 1959 is waiting in her room,
with all the doors locked from the inside, for her husband to come home.
When he arrives, the house has burned to the ground and she’s dead. (JM,
originally from How Come — Again?)
1.12 answer: This is apparently a true story. The hot sun reflected
from the woman’s large mirror (which I speculate may have been imperfectly
flat and therefore focused the sunlight, but I don’t know for sure) and
heated the lingerie she was wearing to the burning point. She was absorbed
in a book at the time and didn’t notice the heat until her clothing was
afire. Nobody could get to her to help because her doors were locked from
the inside. Please disregard the version of this answer from previous
editions of this list; it’s not true.