Fact Check

Ferguson Protester Accidentally Burns Down Own House

Did a Ferguson, Missouri, protester accidentally burn down his own house?

Published Nov 28, 2014


Claim:   A protester in Ferguson, Missouri, accidentally burned down his own house.


Example:   [Collected via e-mail, November 2014]

There is an article about a Ferguson Protester that Accidentally Burns Down Own House, and i was wondering if it was real.


Origins:   On 26 November 2014, the Daily Currant published an article titled "Ferguson Protester Accidentally Burns Down Own House." Referencing the recent civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri (and in other locations around the United States), due to a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who shot and killed Mike Brown, the site claimed a protester mistook his home for a local business and mistakenly set fire to it:

A protester in Ferguson, Missouri accidentally burned down his own house last night after mistaking the building for a convenience store.

According to a report in the Ferguson Post-Gazette, 32-year-old Tyler Jackson threw a Molotov cocktail into a window not realizing he was setting ablaze his own residence. The home, which was empty at the time, subsequently burned to the ground.

"The [fire department] told me they were too busy with other fires to come help," he lamented. "I couldn't believe it. I mean we pay these people's salaries! What do you mean you're too busy?

"A black person's house burns down and suddenly you're 'too busy' to put the fire out? This is what racism in America looks like."

Despite its convincing tone, this article was just another humorous bit from the Daily Currant, a fake news site. The site's About page makes no effort to hide its satirical nature, and previous fictional articles from that site include pieces about dozens of Coloradans dying of marijuana overdoses shortly after cannabis was legalized in the state for recreational purposes and Sarah Palin's claiming that Jesus celebrated Easter.

According to the Daily Currant's disclaimer:

Our stories are purely fictional. However they are meant to address real-world issues through satire and often refer and link to real events happening in the world.

Last updated:   28 November 2014

David Mikkelson founded the site now known as snopes.com back in 1994.