Warmest regards… Your Killer.
— The Killer's salutation
Fire Starter
Season 1, Episode 2
Fire Starter
Air date: June 30, 2013
Written by: Anthony E. Zuiker,
Trey Callaway [1]
Directed by: Anthony B. Sacco
Viewers: 3.19 mil [2]
Ratings: 1.0 [2]
Winner: Ulysses
Scared: Adrianna and Dana
Murdered: Adrianna
Episode Guide
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High Voltage Kaboom

Fire Starter is the second episode of Season 1. It was originally aired on June 30th, 2013 on ABC.[3] The episode covers from 4:38 a.m. on day 2, where High Voltage left off, to 7:13 a.m. on day 3.


Main article: Fire Starter

In this episode, Dontae was burned alive by The Killer. Dontae went back to his room after an unsettling dinner. He got to his room and put on the special pajamas that were laid out for him. But what he didn't know is that his sleepwear was given a thorough coating of flammable benzene. He also kept his feet nice and warm with the special static electricity-prone socks that were laid out for him as well. At around 4:38 A.M. The Killer set off the fire alarm causing everyone to get out of the manor and gather by the pool. Dontae was no exception to this, as he walked across a special rug that the killer laid out for him that filled his whole body with static electricity. When he touched the door knob he immediately went up in flames and sealed his fate. The burning Dontae then ran out of his room, down the stairs, and past his horrified fellow contestants into his watery grave. During dinner everyone received their card telling them their fate of being spared and being scared! Unfortunately Adrianna And Dana were given "scared" cards at dinner and ultimately sealed one of their fates. At about 7:30 A.M. Adrianna was enjoying a nice bowl of cereal and suddenly she dropped her bowl and ran for the door. Once she was out she made a path for the golf cart to get out of the manor hastily. She started the engine and drove to the gate when suddenly the golf cart exploded. And that sealed the fate of Adrianna.


Crime Scene Photos

Down Below Shows The Crime Scene Photos For The Episode Fire Starter

The Pool

This time, Adrianna, Kam and Sasha chose to scrutinize the crime scene, what they found are fragments of socks different from theirs and a medallion reading "St Agatha, Pray for Us".


Well, the patron saint seemed unable to protect you from static electricity though.

Last Known Whereabouts

The doorknob of Dontae's room was charred, which suggested it was the ignition point. Next to the doorknob were fragments of melting lampshade scattering on the cabinet, and the carpet rested soundly, suggesting the fire could never have reached the floor, so Dontae's upper body must have been severely burned. Then came the vital piece of evidence, a box, presumed to have contained a medallion or a necklace, accompanied by a note that read: "St Agatha, patron saint, protector from fire, sleep well!" A sarcastic note with the ambiguous presence of said box made Geno to decide they should keep these info a secret.

The Morgue

At the morgue, Dontae's body was lying, severely burnt. Dontae's right hand was the most damaged, pointing out the ignition point. Moreover, his pajamas were a set different from theirs, so the contestants thought they would have contributed to his demise.


Yes, riddleS! The first one:

Fire Starter Riddles

The first one

And the second one on the right:


The second riddle

  • Solution: The riddles point out that benzene is the accomplice, the real COD. Combined with a different set of pajamas, different socks, and the occurrence Kam's been through, a few contestants managed to reach the conclusion that Dontae was electrocuted from gathering static electricity by a pair of special socks, the circuit then reached the medallion and ignited his benzene-soaked pajamas, setting up a "Dontae's Inferno".

State The Case

The bold italic is where the contestant got it wrong.

  • Cris points out the static electricity piece. She thinks Adrianna is the killer.
  • Don thinks Dontae's went up in flame and became a legitimate "Dontae's inferno".
  • Geno claims The Killer has added the gift of St. Agatha medallion. He still thinks Kam's the killer.
  • Kam thinks The Killer has triggered the fire alarm. And vice versa, he thinks it's Geno.
  • Lindsey says Dontae put the medallion on his neck.
  • Melina believes The Killer has coated the pajamas in benzene. She says the fire wasn't the true COD, but rather Dontae died of drowning since Dontae mentioned he didn't know how to swim. She teases Cris, saying she can enjoy her killings.
  • Ronnie states The Killer has replaced Dontae's pajamas.
  • Sasha claims that the carpet from Dontae's room was different from others'. She also focuses on a new target, Ulysses.
  • Ulysses describes the note saying "Patron saint, protector of fire" and signed "Sleep well!". He also points out the true COD as burning, thus Dontae had to jump to the pool. He thinks it's Adrianna who did it.
  • Adrianna thinks the medallion read St. Agnes, and that Dontae had put his medallion into his pocket, and the medallion exploded. She agrees with Geno about who the killer might be.
  • Dana thinks the doorknob was soaked entirely in accelerant, she supposes he's drowned. She keeps up her point, stating Adrianna's the killer.


The killer provided Dontae with different pajamas that had been sprayed with odorless benzene and special socks that were more prone to generating static electricity. In addition, the killer left behind a pendant of St. Agatha with a note that read, "Patron saint, protector from fire. Sleep well." When Dontae retired for the night, he put on the clothes and pendant and went to sleep. The killer then set off the fire alarm at 4:38 in the morning. Like the other guests, Dontae got up but ran across the shag carpet in his special socks, generating static electricity. As he reached the doorknob, there was a spark of static discharge that ignited the benzene-soaked clothes, setting Dontae ablaze and eventually killing him! Dontae died from his burns, but not before he was able to jump into the pool.


In the end:

  • Ulysses successfully passed his state of the case.
  • Cris, Don, Geno, Kam, Lindsey, Melina, Ronnie and Sasha were all spared.
  • Dana received the "Scared" card, she thought it was Adrianna who put her in this situation.
  • Well, Dana was wrong about that, Adrianna was surely "gone with a blow" after receiving her "Scared" card.


  • This is the first episode where a female contestant "died", since Sheri wasn't a real contestant.
  • The episode's title refers to the doorknob, which triggered the chain of events leading to Dontae's "demise".
  • The episode also centers Dontae's death.
  • The riddle revolves around a chemical substance, benzene, and physical phenomenon, static electricity.
  • Adrianna's TOD refers to a biblical verse, as pointed out by fans and viewers alike:

"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it." (Matthew 7:13) [4]

  • Adrianna stated that Dontae's medallion blew off, killing him, in reality, it was her who "went with a blow".


Here are some trivia given away by the production team via ABC's page: [5]

  1. A mixture of 1% phenolphthalein and 99% ethanol was used to paint the invisible stripe on each cast member's flag during the riddle. Once sprayed with window cleaner ("benzene"), the stripe turns magenta.
  2. No real benzene was used on set. Instead, the benzene bottle was filled up with ammonia, which reacted to what was painted in clear color on the flag -- turning it magenta.
  3. The stripe on the flag was originally written to appear in red. During SFX testing, production learned that it would only turn magenta and had to rewrite the scene accordingly.
  4. This challenge had two folds: 1) To achieve the doorknob shock effect -- the doorknob was rigged with a SFX person hiding on the other side. They used a sparkplug coil from a 1932 Ford Model 'T' found on EBay and 45k volts was delivered at 600 milliamperes. 2) To create the fire that sends the door tapestry up in flames, flash paper was used. A lacquer spray paint was needed to paint the magenta stripe onto the flash paper so that it would match the magenta stripe on the contestant's flag. From behind the door, the SFX person had to also light a match to set the flash paper off.
  5. Production started shooting this episode at 7pm and didn't finish until 3pm the next day.
  6. 100% cotton fabric is the most fire-resistant material. Cast and victim/stunt double's pajamas needed to be 100% cotton since they were encountering fire. But because the victim had to have a completely different set of PJs from the rest of cast -- down to color, pattern AND fabric, all very important evidence in the morgue -- we went with 100% cotton for cast pajamas and 100% cotton flannel for the victim/stunt double. Yes, you could feel and see the difference, but they were both 100% cotton and were able to protect our cast and stunt person.
  7. The stunt person had to wear several layers of protective clothing, including the fire-resistant material asbestos underneath her pajamas. She also wore special gloves and was coated in specially prepared flammable gel.
  8. The best way to light a pig's head (or any dish) on fire? Bacardi 151.
  9. St. Agatha is also the patron saint for breast cancer patients.
  10. In the morgue, Dontae was shivering because his pajamas were still damp. A team of producers helped to keep him warm with hair dryers.


  • Dontae caught on fire while only wearing his socks, he ran down the stairs with his shoes on. [6]
  • Benzene is "odorless", as stated by The Killer.

External Links/References

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