Methane (which is flammable) was first isolated by Alessandro Volta between 1776 and 1778. Volta was inspired to study gases after reading work by Benjamin Franklin.
The following is excerpted from a letter written by Benjamin Franklin:
In 1764, I heard it several times mentioned, that by applying a lighted candle near the surface of some rivers, a sudden flame would catch and spread on the water. …
In 1765, I heard of the same experiment, the whole surface of the water was in a blaze, as instantly as the vapour of warm inflammable spirits.
Obama’s Former EPA Chief Admits NO Fracking Water Contamination
Later, the Obama EPA issued … then RETRACTED … a “Fracking Is Bad” report.
What is methane? @ http://www.rwlwater.com/what-is-methane/
Franklin letter @ https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=579036415471047&set=a.208982849143074.48148.208180129223346&type=1&ref=nf. Edited for clarity only by CtH. The full text is at this URL.