Julie Gagne, 47, is accused of using a flamethrower to torch her SUV in November and then falsely reporting it stolen to Schaumburg police.

A Barrington woman accused of using a flamethrower to torch her SUV in November told police she bought the device as a gift for her father and was assembling it when it accidentally went off, according to police documents obtained by the Daily Herald.

Barrington police said Gagne used the flamethrower to set her SUV ablaze about 10:30 p.m. Nov. 10 in an office center parking lot on the 1500 block of South Grove Avenue, near Dundee Road. The Infiniti SUV, which has a sticker price of about $48,000, was registered in her name, police said.

An investigation found Gagne used an X15 Flamethrower manufactured by Ohio-based XMatter to torch the SUV, according to police. They said the $1,600 device — purchased online and legal to own in Illinois — uses a mix of about 3 gallons of fuel and napalm to throw flames as far as 50 feet.

Gagne told investigators she drove into the lot across the street from Barrington’s post office because she wanted to assemble the flamethrower and have it ready to present to her father the next day, according to police reports. She reportedly told police “a freak accident” occurred when the device set her SUV on fire.

“When I asked why she thought her (70-year-old) father would want a flamethrower, she stated, ‘I thought he would get a kick out of it,'” Barrington police Detective Lori Allsteadt wrote in a report.

Read the full story here


  • Casey Ruston Torrey | Jan 14,2018

    The story alone is worth the entertainment.

  • Steven Brizick | Jan 14,2018

    How much booze was involved ???

  • Matt Williams | Jan 14,2018

    wish the site for just rl news history of RL was more in depth

  • Betsy Lutrell | Jan 14,2018

    The idea that a flamethrower (napalm, really?) Is legal to own is terrifying. What POSSIBLE reason is there for that??? Also, she’s guilty as sin.

  • TL DeMay | Jan 14,2018

    Well, Accidents happen….

  • Michelle St John Smith | Jan 14,2018

    Stupid crazy lol

  • Mike Bloom | Jan 14,2018

    I’m sure this is all just a big misunderstanding

  • Terri Hinkle Jones | Jan 14,2018

    There are some crazy people out there. More to this story

  • Frank Rizzo | Jan 14,2018

    Same thing happened to me once.

  • Debra Lynn | Jan 14,2018

  • Lori Trentanelli | Jan 14,2018

    I know I’m always spending Friday nights in office center parking lots miles away from where I live, assembling blowtorches and flamethrowers as gifts for family members. And of course, sometimes they go off, all by themselves. Really. Honest.

  • Eleni Myers | Jan 14,2018

    Funny stuff

  • Carol Swanson | Jan 14,2018

    She was just, ummm, trying to thaw the locks!…eh?

  • Jim Grieger | Jan 14,2018

  • Alanna Marie Hanson | Jan 15,2018

    Hell no hello ?????

  • Ivan Avakian | Jan 15,2018

    Kevin is your hometown this lit?

  • Donna J Markus Clark | Jan 15,2018

    so maybe she couldn’t assemble it at home because they live in the same house? But, I would think all the tools to asssemble it are still at home.

    • Round Lake Area News | Jan 15,2018

      Assembling is one thing but adding the fuel mixture is quite another. They even found special hand-wipes to remove fuel traces from your hands at the site.

  • Enrique Gonzalez | Jan 15,2018


  • KIm Nelson-Wilferling | Jan 15,2018

    Boy thats a knee deep story!!!!

  • Kathy Baltzell-Ruston | Jan 15,2018

    Where exactly do you find napalm?!?!?! Who in their right mind would think 1. It’s a good idea and 2. Think anyone’s gonna believe that story?

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