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ATHENS, Ala. – Investigators say an explosion at an Athens motel was caused by an intense hatred of deli meat.

It happened at the Bomar Inn on February 12. In photos of the scene, you can see the room’s window and door were blown out.

Athens Police Chief Floyd Johnson says Beverly B. Harrison has been charged with felony arson in connection with the case. Investigators say Harrison’s family brought her a pack of ham to eat, but she didn’t want it.


Beverly Harrison (Photo: Athens Police

Authorities believe Harrison set the ham on fire and put it in the garbage can. When the smoke got too bad, Chief Johnson said she left her room with her dog, and didn’t call for help. “At no time did she alert anyone to the fire.”


An explosion happened shortly after she left the room. The fire department and ATF agents determined that the explosion was caused by a can of butane fuel that ruptured in the fire.

Harrison was arrested on first-degree arson charges and transferred to the Limestone County Jail.