We burned your house down. Happy Thanksgiving!
A group of construction workers' holiday tradition of deep-frying their turkey went awry when oil from the fryer caught fire, burning down the Eugene, Ore., house they had just finished building, according to The Associated Press.
The men had set up cement worker Henry Schmerber's new propane fryer inside the vacant home's garage — and took turns watching the kettle.
But alas, the holiday fryer-fun was not to be.
Workers say the fryer's thermometer was broken, causing the oil inside to overheat, spill into the burner and ignite.
Even though the foiled fryers battled the blaze with a fire extinguisher, the flames spread across the garage, up the front of the house and into a second-story room in the house.
The unsold home in the Cozy Homes development was insured — Eugene District Fire Chief Paul Dammen put the loss at $75,000.
In a posting on its Web site, the National Fire Protection Association urges turkey lovers not to use deep-fryers — warning that heating as much as 5 gallons of oil to 350 degrees or more poses a "significant danger."
But the workers wouldn't let their hallowed frying ritual die in the home's ashes: They bought another bird and cooked it up in the backyard of a house across the street.
"We're gonna burn another house down," Schmerber joked to the AP.
— Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.
Run for It, Boys! Gobble, Gobble, Gobble
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Maybe they knew what was coming.
Two dozen live turkeys bound for Thanksgiving dinner tables fell off a truck on the New Jersey Turnpike last Friday, briefly fouling traffic near Newark Liberty International Airport.
Packed 12 to a crate, the birds survived and remained inside the boxes while on the roadway.
"I think we should be investigating this as an escape attempt," said Joseph Orlando, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The crates fell at about 1:30 p.m. as a truck was leaving the toll road at Interchange 14. The driver was unaware two of the crates had fallen, and the truck operator continued driving.
A toll booth supervisor noticed the crates in the roadway and called state police, who in turn called in animal control officers to remove the crated birds.
They will presumably be returned to the trucker — if the driver notices they're missing, Orlando said.
The spill was the latest in a long series of bizarre animal incidents on the highway in recent years.
Last November, a tractor-trailer carrying 40,000 pounds of frozen chickens struck a truck carrying sheep in East Windsor, killing 22 of the animals.
Just a month before that, a truck carrying live chickens was hit from behind by another tractor-trailer as it entered the turnpike in Barrington, dumping some onto the road; the others died in a fire.
In April 2003, a wild turkey eluded vehicles and state police for an hour in Woodbridge before darting off into a wooded area.
In 1999, six cows escaped from a dairy farm in Mansfield Township. One wandered onto the turnpike and the others ran onto the connector road to the Pennsylvania Turnpike. A trooper lassoed the first; truckers corralled the others.
There also have been incidents involving escaped live crabs and horses.
"Three years ago, I would have thought this was unusual," said Orlando, adding he expects to see a truckload of pigs spill onto the roadway next spring just before Easter hams are prepared for the holiday table.
— Thanks to Out There reader Aimee H.
Eat Your Heart Out, Captain America
STOCKHOLM, Sweden (AP) — Anglers fishing in a frozen river came home with a highly unusual catch — a live turtle they found trapped under the ice.
"My friends did not believe me but then saw it for themselves. And right then it moved," Anna Nyberg said Monday.
After cutting a hole in the ice in the Rodan River, about 400 miles north of Stockholm, the group managed to remove the turtle, which is temporarily living in Nyberg's bathtub.
Nyberg said wildlife experts in Stockholm told her that the nearly 10-inch turtle probably was of a South or Central American species that would not be expected to survive the grim Swedish winter.
However, Nyberg said she believes it probably was a North American species that can remain under the ice for 150 days by lying dormant.
— Click in the photo box above to see a pic of the Captain America turtle.
Sir, the Guns Were for Viewing, Not Shooting Yourself
FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) — A trip to the restroom resulted in a trip to the hospital for a Bloomington man who accidentally shot himself in the hand over the weekend at a gun show.
Faribault Police Sgt. Richard Larson said the 59-year-old man shot himself while removing his gun from a hook in a bathroom stall while attending the 31st annual Faribault Rifle and Pistol Club gun show on Sunday morning.
The man was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released by Sunday afternoon.
The gun show was at the National Guard Armory on Saturday and Sunday.
— Thanks to Out There reader Jack H.
So Much for the Happy Ending
NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Undercover officers noticed something conspicuously absent from a tanning salon — tanning beds.
The only tanning bed on the property of VIP Tann Spa was found in a wooden box on the porch, officer Jerry Miller said.
Miller said the so-called tanning salon was actually a very different kind of business: Three employees and two customers were charged with prostitution and related charges after the undercover visit last month.
The undercover officer found makeshift beds and other evidence people were being paid for sex, Miller said.
Investigators took business receipts, credit card statements and cash before closing the salon. The County Council revoked the owner's business license.
— Thanks to Out There reader Shannon O.
A Tad Accident Prone, Perhaps?
POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (AP) — A man who was struck in the head by a train this weekend was also hit in the head by a New York City subway car three years ago, officials said Monday.
Parker T. Hall Houghtaling, of Stanfordville, 23, was hit in the head Nov. 18 by a Metro-North train as it pulled into the Poughkeepsie station. He was listed in stable condition Monday.
In 2002, Houghtaling was waiting at a subway station in Manhattan when he stuck his head out and was hit by a subway car. He was hospitalized with a shoulder injury, nose fractures and bruises, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.
It was unclear Monday what led to either incident. MTA police are continuing an investigation, Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said.
Compiled by FOXNews.com's Andrew Hard.
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