Mary Jane Couture got a surprise last Wednesday when her glass top patio table spontaneously exploded.

The Merritt resident was inside her home on Menzies street around 1 p.m. when she heard a loud noise from the patio and rushed to see what had happened.

“I was here inside and it sounded like one of the chairs had flipped over,” said Couture. “I looked out the window and saw that our table had exploded.

Small pieces of glass covered the ground and chairs around the table frame on the Couture’s patio.

“I’m just glad it didn’t happen on Sunday when we had guests over,” said Couture, explaining that they had eaten at the President’s Choice brand patio table only a few days ago.

Neither the Coutures nor the employees at Extra Foods in Merritt where the table was purchased can figure out what caused the table to explode.

“This is very rare – we were all very shocked,” said Extra Foods employee Sandy Parkinson. “I’ve had one of those patio sets out there for six years.”

Manager Mike Fahota said he was equally surprised and placed a call to head office. He was told that there were a couple of instances where a different brand of table broke last year, but the circumstances were not the same.

“I’m wondering if the seams break and the heat gets in and causes it to shatter – I mean, the glass was all in pieces,” said Fahota. “I’ve had an Extra Foods table and it’s been sitting on my uncovered deck for years during winter and summer.”

On the other hand, Couture said that her patio set, which she and her husband have had for two and a half years, is kept in the shed during the winter.

On Sept. 7 temperatures rose above 30 Celsius but Couture’s husband Eugene noted that it was not the hottest day that Merritt has experienced this year.

A Google search revealed that this spontaneous explosion was not unique. Earlier this year, a Martha Stewart brand glass top patio table exploded as a family sat down to enjoy their Father’s Day meal and according to Fox31, hundreds of customers reported similar incidences in 2005.

Though the cause of the patio table explosion remains a mystery, Extra Foods covered the cost of the clean up and gave the Coutures a voucher for $175 – the agreed upon value of the table two years after purchase.