How the animatronics guy behind the Showbiz Pizza Parlor band blew up his warehouse

Today I Found Out has a great story that seemed fitting to share on April Fools’ Day:

It was lunch time on a muggy late September day in 2013 when an explosion shook downtown Orlando, Florida. A warehouse on west Jefferson street was the casualty. Police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks were already on their way by the time Tim Roth, a good Samaritan, was on the scene. As he searched through the rubble and debris for injured humans, what he found was something else entirely.

As described by the Orlando Sentinel in the next day’s paper, “among the knocked-down suits of armor, animatronics, old arcade games, clown suits and broken lighted signs (it was) as if (Roth) were in the Joker’s lair.” Fortunately, no humans were injured in the blast, but a wide collection of electronic amusements were destroyed beyond repair. For this warehouse belonged to Aaron Fechter, the inventor of the Whac-A-Mole…

After firefighters inspected the damage, investigators ruled that the blast was due to a ruptured pressurized fuel tank containing one of Fechter’s latest things he’s been working with- an experimental fuel called “carbohydrillium.” Carbohydrillium supposedly burns cleaner than propane and is particularly well-suited for cooking with. (Beyond that, there isn’t much information about it anywhere that I could find.) Fechter has been working trying to invent ways to use it in everyday life. So how did Mr. Fechter go from inventing the Whac-A-Mole, to an animatronic band, to playing around with experimental fuels?

You’ll have to read the whole story to find out: That Time the Inventor of Whac-A-Mole Accidentally Blew Up His Warehouse