Alexander City police determined a man who was killed in a fire on Lindsey Road on Thursday was electrocuted while trying to create artwork.
The death of Ronnie Wayne McDaniel, 39, of Alexander City was ruled accidental, deputy chief James Easterwood said Friday.
“He was doing art on wood by electrocution,” Easterwood said. “There was a lot of power going through there.”
McDaniel died at a shed behind the home. The Alexander City Fire Department and firemedics responded to a report of a man on fire at approximately 6 p.m. Thursday. Authorities quickly cordoned off the area around the shed with yellow crime tape.
The American Association of Woodturners has condemned the practice of fractal wood burning, which uses high-voltage electricity to burn images resembling lightning flashes into wood soaked in salt water or other electrolyte materials. The artist risks electrocution if he or she touches the wood or wires and completes the circuit.
As of January 2019, the American Association of Woodturners said it was aware of at least 16 deaths worldwide caused by fractal burning. The association said it banned fractal burning at all of its events and banned articles about its use in all of its publications.
The reported cases of fractal burning deaths range from hobbyist woodworkers through experienced woodworkers to an electrician with many years of experience, the association said. Homemade Lichtenberg burners are particularly dangerous.