Spontaneous combustion baby: Parents claim 3-month-old infant burst into flames

CHENNAI, INDIA - A 3-month-old Indian baby with serious burns has doctors scratching their heads trying to figure out if it's possible the infant suffered from spontaneous human combustion.

According to ABC News, the boy's parents claim he caught fire four separate times.

The boy's mother says nine days after Rahul was born, she found him on fire in her hut after he was momentarily left alone.

According to mom, the baby caught fire three other times before she and her husband took him to a hospital for treatment.

Doctors at the Kilpauk Medical College Hospital are investigating the possibility Rahul spontaneously combusted. They also examined him for other medical conditions including child abuse.

According to an Indian newspaper, doctors say multiple tests have given no indication the baby could catch fire without an ignition source.

"We are in a dilemma and haven't come to any conclusion," Dr. Narayan Babu, head of pediatrics at Kilpauk Medical Hospital, told the  New York Times . "The parents have held that the child burned instantaneously without any provocation. We are carrying out numerous tests. We are not saying it is SHC until all investigations are complete."

Spontaneous human combustion remains a controversial theory as a cause of death.

Experts are puzzled by cases where a person is found reduced to ash in his or her home and the rest of the structure has no fire damage. Everything from static electricity to cigarettes left burning have been theorized to cause a person to suddenly burst into flames.

Doctors say Rahul was released from the hospital Friday. He is expected to stay under the protection of child rights activists until doctors determine what caused his mysterious burns.

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