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Black Widows Plus Blow Torch Equals House Fire in Fresno

No injuries were reported
By Luke Roney,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 24, 2018 5:31 PM CDT
A black widow spider.   (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, File)

(Newser)

The good news: A California man housesitting for his parents didn't invite a bunch of people over and trash the place. The bad news: He was able to nearly destroy the house all on his own. Authorities say the man set his parents' Fresno house on fire when he was trying to kill black widow spiders with a blowtorch, KFSN reports. Twenty-nine firefighters responded to the two-alarm blaze at the Woodward Lake housing development and put it out. There were no injuries, according to reports. (No word on the spiders.) The fire damaged the building's attic and second story.

The use of fire for pest control appears to be fairly common, often with disastrous results. In April, a man trying to kill insects with a lighter set fire to his house, displacing four adults and six children, the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports. A Kansas woman was reportedly hit with an arson charge after attempting to kill a spider with flaming towels. And there have been multiple past reports of people trying to eradicate bedbugs with flame. In one instance, a Cincinnati woman caused $250,000 in damage to an apartment building when she tried to use alcohol and fire to get rid of the pests. In a similar case out of Detroit, a man accidentally lit himself on fire. (Read more house fire stories.)

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