Earlier this week, firefighters in California were called to an apartment complex to put out a fire that was caused by an unidentified man who was trying to kill a spider. Although no one was fortunately injured by his stupidity, his apartment was left “uninhabitable.”
Specifically, the Redding Fire Department recently received a call about a fire at a local apartment complex. They promptly rushed to the scene and then spent about 20 minutes battling the blaze, which ended up causing about $11,000 in damage.
Once the fire was put out, officials learned that it was started by a resident who tried killing a wolf spider with a blow touch. Apparently, upon being set alight, the spider scrambled over to a nearby mattress. The fire then spread from the spider to the bed and later to a flag collection and some curtains.
Terrified, the resident and several neighbors tried to put out the flames with a garden hose. Their attempt, however, was ultimately unsuccessful. Thankfully, though, it didn’t take long for firefighters to arrive and get things under control.
After surveying the damage caused by the small blaze, officials declared the apartment where the fire started “uninhabitable.” As a consequence, the resident who lived there will now be forced to find another place to live.
Following the incident, the Redding Fire Department went on Facebook and released a brief statement on Facebook about the incident. “Call an exterminator if you have spiders….and don’t try to burn them,” they wrote.
Shockingly, this is not the first time someone has inadvertently started a fire while trying to exterminate unwanted critters. For example, back in October 2017, firefighters in Arizona were called to a mobile home trailer park after a small fire that was accidentally by a man who, like the man in Redding, tried killing several spiders with a blowtorch.
According to reports, it took twenty-three men from the Tucson Fire Department roughly eleven minutes to put out the small house fire. When they first arrived at the scene, they were told that the homeowner and his elderly mother, who needed to be carried outside by her son and neighbors, had already evacuated and that no one else was believed to be inside.
While being lifted outside, the woman sustained minor injuries and was subsequently treated by paramedics as the flames were being extinguished. Aside from that, no other injuries were reported. Upon learning about the incident, the Red Cross decided to reach out and assist the two displaced residents.
And back in 2015, a man was filling up his car at a Detroit gas station when he spotted a spider crawling near his gas tank and pulled out his lighter to try and kill it. Unsurprisingly, upon flicking it on, the gas pump and the man’s car were immediately engulfed in flames.
Terrified, he pulled the pump’s hose out of his car, spreading the flames in the process. He then jumped in his car and pulled away before returning with a fire extinguisher to put out the blaze. At the same time, the gas station attendant hit the emergency shut off switch to stop the inferno from getting worse. Thankfully, the fire was quickly extinguished.
Prior to that, firefighters in Dallas were forced to put out a house fire that was started by a construction worker. He reportedly tried to destroy a wasp nest using flammable fluid and a lighter.
“Investigators determined that the fire was accidentally started when one of the workers found a wasp nest inside the storage shed and decided to burn it with a heat source and flammable liquid,” announced the Dallas Fire-Rescue in a statement released shortly after extinguishing the flames. “After burning the nest, the worker believed he had completely extinguished the flames. But after smoldering for an unknown amount of time, the flames eventually rekindled and started the aforementioned fire,” they added.
And several months before that, firefighters in Ohio responded to a call about a house fire that was started by the homeowner’s son, who was trying to kill bed bugs with a lighter. “We sprayed the couch earlier but, uh, some alcohol you buy from the drugstore which kills them on contact, and he was chasing one down with a lighter and the couch catch fire,” explained the homeowner, Fred Horne, while speaking with reporters.
Clearly, using fire to kill unwanted pests is a terrible idea. Hopefully, by hearing about the consequences of doing so, others will be deterred from making the same mistake in the future.