View Full Version : Man Killed In Lava Lamp Explosion

12-01-2004, 03:00 AM
Kent Man Killed By Exploding Lava Lamp

A 24-year-old man who placed a lava lamp on a hot stovetop was killed when it exploded and sent a shard of glass into his heart.

Kent - "Philip has been a kid who tinkers with things ever since he was little," a grieving Claudia Quinn told KOMO 4 News Monday night after her son's bizarre and tragic death.

Sunday, 24-year-old Philip Quinn was tinkering with a lava lamp at his home in Kent. His girlfriend and his parents became worried when they couldn't find him and couldn't get him to answer his phone.

Claudia and Bill Quinn drove from their home in Auburn to check on their youngest son. They thought maybe he'd just overslept. They were devastated by what they found.

"I looked around the corner and saw his body slumped there in the corner and just couldn't believe what I saw," said Quinn's father.

"There was glass from the kitchen clear to the living room," his mom told us. "They said it appeared that a piece of glass punctured his heart."

Philip, in a fatal act of experimentation, had placed a lava lamp on the kitchen stove. When used properly and heated only by a small lightbulb, 40 watts in most cases, a lava lamp is essentially harmless: a mix of wax or oil and water sealed in a glass bottle with a small air space at the top of the bottle to allow for the liquid to expand under heat.

"It wasn't bubbling fast enough for him," his mom guesses. "Because when we walked in the stove was on at the lowest setting."

Even at the lowest setting the amount of heat was too much. As Philip watched the lava lamp on his stove the pressure began to build too much and too fast until it essentially exploded like a grenade, showering him with glass and sending a large shard deep into his chest.

He was found just a few feet away from the stove. He bled to death and never had a chance to call for help. The King County Medical Examiner has ruled the death accidental.

Police found no evidence of drug or alcohol use.

Philip Quinn leaves behind a 15-month old daughter. He was also the youngest of three brothers. Funeral services are planned for this Saturday.