Last night, a Minneapolis woman set fire to herself after trying to melt all the snow surrounding her home with a flame thrower. The victim, 45-year-old Vikki Reich (pictured at left during happier times), had lived in Minnesota for 22 years and had yet to adapt to the harsh winters. Friends say that she complained about the cold and snow constantly. "I think she just snapped," said Galit Breen of Eagan, "I knew she was struggling this winter but didn't know how much." In recent weeks, neighbors had seen her display increasingly unusual behavior. Jacqueline Frost said, "I saw her wandering around in her back yard one night, wearing a headlamp and muttering to herself. She always seemed like a nice lady but something was definitely off lately." Another neighbor, Lars Gunderson, said he had seen her in what appeared to be a wrestling match with her neck warmer and snow shovel. He said, "These winters aren't for everyone, ya know?"
They obviously aren't because last night, at approximately 7:45 p.m., Ms. Reich took matters into her own hands with deadly consequences. An investigation by the Minneapolis Police revealed that Ms. Reich went into her garage at 7:30 p.m. and took a flame thrower she had recently purchased through Amazon.com and began to circle her home, aiming it at snow drifts. It appears that she had cleared the side yard and was working on the front yard went something went terribly wrong and her down coat caught fire. A spokesperson for REI said, "Down jackets are not typically flammable but damn! Goose feathers smell like s#%& when they burn!" Investigators suggest that, after her coat caught fire, Ms. Reich attempted to pat it out with her gloves which also caught fire and then the flames quickly spread. A neighbor who wished to remain anonymous called 911 after hearing screaming and then looked out the window to see the victim engulfed in flames. The neighbor said, "Such a tragedy but it's fitting. Her favorite book was David Sedaris' 'When You Are Engulfed in Flames.'"
Ms. Reich leaves behind her partner, two children and one spoiled cat. A memorial service will be held in Cancun, Mexico.