A California man tried to a kill a spider with a torch and burned down his apartment.
It’s a tale of arachnid revenge. A flaming spider caused a man’s apartment to catch fire after the man tried to kill it with a torch lighter.
"It was a huge wolf spider," witness Lyndsey Wisegarver told the Redding Record Searchlight. Wolf spiders can grow up to several inches and are often confused with even larger tarantula species.
The fire started shortly before noon on Sunday. A male resident spotted the enormous wolf spider and attempted to kill it by using a torch lighter - a lighter that provides a stronger blue flame than a regular lighter. The man was successful in lighting the arachnid ablaze but failed to consider what would happen after the spider noticed it was on fire.
Firefighters clear out damaged items from an apartment fire on Waldon Street in downtown Redding. pic.twitter.com/BTmX8oZQr5— Damon Arthur (@damonarthur_RS) January 7, 2018
Scurrying madly, the spider leaped onto the mattress which quickly caught fire. The flames then spread to nearby fabric drapery and then an adjacent collection of flags. It makes one question why someone with so much flammable material nearby would have a specialized lighter.
Firefighters arrived after the blaze had spread to the closet and managed to prevent it from spreading to the attic or neighboring apartment units. Battalion Chief Rob Pitt stated that while everyone escaped unharmed the fire did cause approximately $11,000 in damage to the apartment.
"And it was such an interesting comment that it grew legs and spread like wildfire," added fire marshal Craig Wittner.
Wisegarver and the other two residents now need to find a new home after their attempted arachnicide. The spider’s attorneys have so far refused to comment on the incident, but litigation is most likely forthcoming as fire marshals continue to investigate.
Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time a man burned down his home while trying to kill a spider. A Seattle man tried a similar stunt using a lighter and a can of spray paint. The gout of flame lit his laundry room wall ablaze which quickly spread to the rest of the house.
"There are safer, more effective ways to kill a spider than using fire," said Kyle Moore with the Seattle Fire Department. "Fire is not the method to use to kill a spider."