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Woman Burns Down House While Trying To Kill Bed Bugs (Photos)

Woman Burns Down House While Trying To Kill Bed Bugs (Photos) Promo Image

A Cincinnati, Ohio, woman trying to kill bed bugs with alcohol accidentally set fire to a multi-family home, displacing 10 people and sending three to the hospital. 

The fire broke out late Dec. 8 as the woman, who has not been identified, was trying to kill bed bugs using alcohol, according to WXIX. Fire officials believe an open flame near the bed caused the alcohol to ignite and set off the blaze. 

The home, which is divided into five units, was quickly engulfed in flames. Ten people -- seven adults and three teenagers -- were displaced, some losing everything in the fire. The American Red Cross is supporting those families with temporary lodging, food and clothing, according to WXIX. 

Three adults were taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation. They are all expected to make full recoveries. 

Officials estimate the fire caused $250,000 in damage. 

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"When I got here the whole house was on fire," resident Kamaron Lyshe told WXIX. Everything in Lyshe's unit was destroyed by the fire. 

"First time having a fire this serious," he said. "I went up there to see inside the window and everything looked like it was burnt. The roof was down, walls were burnt."

"I'm kind of dealing with it now," Lyshe continued. "I'll start from scratch. It's like a dream... everything is burnt. I'll start fresh. It's all we can do now." 

This is the second major fire Cincinnati has seen in as many weeks caused by someone trying to kill bed bugs with alcohol. 

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On Nov. 28, a 13-year-old boy accidentally set his mattress on fire while trying to kill bed bugs with alcohol and a match, according to WXIX. 

The fire destroyed one unit and badly burned two others. Three more suffered smoke and water damage. In all, the total damages from this fire were estimated to be $300,000. 

No one was injured, but eight people were displaced.

"This was accidental. He wasn't in there just playing with matches," Fire Chief Marc Monahan said, according to WXIX. "It wasn't the smartest thing, obviously, but he was trying to get rid of a bed bug." 

The Environmental Protection Agency lists several ways to kill bed bugs including heat, extreme cold and certain pesticides. 

The agency specifically warns against using rubbing alcohol because it is flammable and is known to cause house fires. 

After the second fire, District 3 Fire Chief Randy Freel said people dealing with a bed bug infestation should "get a professional," according to WXIX.

Sources: WXIX (2), EPA / Featured Image: CDC/Harvard University via Wikimedia Commons / Embedded Images: Facebook via WXIX, WXIX

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