Tanya Rodriguez, 44, and James Carolfi, 52, had been creating art in their garage when the high-voltage technique backfired and killed both of them before setting their house up in flames
A couple electrocuted themselves to death in a ‘tragic’ accident, while using a dangerous art technique which has gone viral on Tiktok, police have said.
Tanya Rodriguez, 44, and James Carolfi, 52, had been using a method known as fractal wood burning, where high voltage electricity is used to create a pattern on chemical-soaked wood.
But while attempting to use the technique on April 6 the couple were electrocuted to death before their garage went up in flames, and spread to the rest of the house, officials said at a press conference.
The horrifying incident even prompted police to launch a murder probe, as emergency crews suspected “foul play” when they arrived on the scene.
But through forensic examination, Sheriff Deputy Chad Billeb, in Wisconsin, US, said they were able to determine that the couple had been killed prior to the fire starting.
At a press conference on Thursday (April 21), he said: “Due to the nature of this incident and the substantial damage caused by the fire, It was incredibly difficult to determine the causes of death and series of events.
“Foul play has been ruled out and the deaths are believed to be accidental in nature.”
Mr Billeb offered his sincere condolences to the families of the victims as he urged members of the community about the dangers of the art technique.
Fractal wood burning has become a popular art method to try thanks to social media sites such as Tiktok, but many have been warning of the associated dangers.
Make Stuff With Little Devil)
At least 33 people have died as a result of fractal burning, according to the American Association of Woodturners.
In 2017 the AAW Safety Committee issued a ban against fractal burning after a woodworker in Washington state was reportedly killed while attempting to use the technique, CBS News reports.