If you have an infestation of ants in your basement, do not follow the example of David Doucette and try to kill them with fire. The 21-year-old Maine man may have succeeded in exterminating the pests, but he burned down his parents' home in the process, killing their dog and two cats, the New York Daily News reports. The state's fire marshal says Doucette, the only one home at the time, was trying to kill the ants with wooden matches when he ignited nearby combustible materials in the basement. He received second-degree burns to his hands while running out of the house with some of the burning items, WCSH reports. The marshal says Doucette is not expected to face charges.
Parents Maurice and Barbara Doucette are known as enthusiastic volunteers in Old Orchard Beach and the community stepped up with an impressive response within hours of the blaze. Residents organized a temporary apartment, donated items, and started a GoFundMe fundraiser that has now collected more than $2,000 more than its $12,000 goal. "We're a small community. When something like this happens, it's nice to see people step up for the family," John Suttie, principal of the high school the Doucettes' daughter attends, tells the Portland Press Herald. "Everyone knew within 10 minutes what had happened and how to help. It goes to show you the power of community and the power of technology and social media." (Read more house fire stories.)