A pest extermination attempt turned tragic when a man accidentally burned down his home, killing three of his pets, while trying to light ants in the house on fire.
The incident happened on March 18 in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, when 21-year-old Devon Doucette was trying to kill the bugs with wooden matches in his basement, reports CBS News. While he was doing this, combustible items caught fire, and the flames rapidly spread through the whole house. Authorities said that two cats and one dog died.
The man's parents, who own the house, were not home at the time. Doucette was transported to the hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation and burns to his hands and arms, notes WGME.
The 21-year-old reportedly suffered the injuries while carrying burning items out of the house, according to CBS News.
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Maine authorities said that they do not expect charges to be filed in this accidental tragedy.
A GoFundMe page has been set up in order to help the Doucette family get back on their feet.
"So many of us are hurting for them as no one deserves to lose everything," wrote Erica Hebert Albair, who set up the fundraising page. "I am doing this so we can get them some clothes, food, place to stay, etc. Anything you can do would be more than greatly appreciated."
The page, created on March 19, raised $11,500 for the Doucette family in under two days.
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"Sadly, the wonderful Doucette family had a house fire yesterday and lost everything, including their loving pets," wrote Albair. "[Devon] was taken to the hospital with 2nd degree burns and is out now recovering … This family is just now starting on their long road on trying to get their life back."
More than 180 people have donated, while some have sent messages of support and even offered to donate furniture and other items.
"I can't thank everyone enough!" family member Andrea Doucette wrote on the page on March 19. "Seriously from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! My heart aches for my Father and it is so amazing to see the generosity of everyone! Many many thanks!"
According to Albair, the community is rallying around the Doucettes and has helped one "generous person" prepare a temporary place for the family to live until they are able to move on from the horrific event and find a new home.
"I can't even begin to tell you the amount of item donations by so many people," Albair wrote. "So many people are beyond words about the generosity from all of you. The gratitude is undefinable."