Aaron Fechter must be one of history's strangest mechanical geniuses. After inventing Whac-A-Mole, the timeless game that allows children to beat the hell out of buck-toothed creatures popping out of holes, he rented a gigantic central Florida warehouse to create robotic, animatronic rock bands for Chuck E. Cheese's and ShowBiz Pizza Place franchises.
Lately, he'd turned his attention to an alternative fuel that supposedly burned cleaner than propane -- but apparently was equally explosive. Fechter's warehouse spectacularly blew up yesterday, causing chaos near downtown Orlando and leaving robots scattered around burning rubble.
The explosion rocked downtown Orlando around 12:30 yesterday afternoon, shaking nearby office buildings and sending workers running outside to see what had happened.
One wall of Fechter's building collapsed in the blast. Bystanders who arrived to check for casualties found a bizarre scene: No humans were hurt in the explosion, but robotic limbs smoldered amid the wreckage.
"It was weird," Tim Roth, an office worker who rushed into the building, tells the Orlando Sentinel, which described the interior as the "Joker's Lair."
"No humans were hurt, but robotic limbs smoldered amid the wreckage."