A priest reads a Bible as he waits for the arrival of Pope Francis before a meeting with the clergy, religious, and seminarians at the Marian National Shrine of El Quinche, outskirts of Quito, July 8, 2015. Getty Images

A huge car fire in Gaffney, South Carolina left the entire contents of a vehicle destroyed beyond recognition last week. All apart from one item, that is: the owner’s bible. No one was in the car when it burst into flames in the owner’s driveway last Friday, but the survival of the “Good Book” has left those who witnessed the scene, including one of the firefighters responsible for dousing the flames, wondering whether they had just seen a case of divine intervention.

“There was a bible in the backseat,” Gaffney Fire Department Chief Jamie Caggiano told Charleston outlet Live 5 News. “It was charred on the edges but not burnt up. There’s [sic ] so many theories, I don’t know if there is an explanation. We all have our own opinion, but as far as facts, we don’t know exactly why it happens.

For another witness on the scene, there was no doubt that a miracle had just taken place.

“When the fire was burning it was an intense fire,” said TJ Felder. “Then it just blew up.”

Felder continued: “It was charred, it was terrible. Everything else in the car was gone. I don’t know how, but God. There’s no other way that could have survived. It just goes to show, the word of God is always going to stand.”

Adding weight to that theory, Caggiano said that this is far from the first time a bible had improbably survived a blaze.

“Family bibles… A lot of times people want those, and we’ll go back in and get them,” the fire chief added. “You’ll see them charred around the edges, the cover will be charred, the bottom will be charred, but the contents will still be in good shape.”

“There’s [sic] different ways to look at it but it always makes you think.”

There is, though, a more earthly explanation for the phenomenon. Closed, dense books are actually extremely difficult to fully ignite. And there is the added theory that the leather used to bind bibles contains a chemical that adds extra protection from the flames.

Miracle? Perhaps not.