Over seventy years after the end of hostilities, the effects of WWII still linger. On August 5th, a German woman accidentally set her coat on fire .
The 41-year-old woman was rela by the Elbe river near Hamburg when she picked up what she thought to be a small piece of amber. The woman plucked the object from the river and put it in her jacket. After drying, the white phosphorous did what it always does. It reacted when exposed to oxygen, burning at temperatures of around 2,370 Fahrenheit. Fortunately, while the woman lost her coat to the blaze, she was no injured herself.
Incendiary bombs were regularly dropped by the Allies against Axis cities like Hamburg, Dresden, and Tokyo. Near the end of the war, these bombs used white phosphorous as an igniter. Hamburg was devastated by these attacks, especially , which killed over 30,000 civilians and leveled the most of the city. Weather conditions during the height of bombing helped create a tornado firestorm, reportedly setting asphalt streets on fire and incinerating eight square miles of the city.
Luckily, all that was destroyed in 2017 was one jacket. While the woman was unharmed, police are asking anyone collecting amber to do so in tins.