A Seattle man tried to kill a spider in his home using a homemade blowtorch, but instead ended up burning down his home.
Fire officials in West Seattle said the man found a spider in his laundry room and tried to kill it using a lighter and spray paint. The blowtorch then made the wall catch fire, and after a futile attempt to stop the blaze, the man ended up running out of his home and calling 911.
Kyle Moore of the Seattle Fire Department said the fire spread quickly.
“I don’t want to encourage people to do this, but that’s what he did,” Moore said. “The spider tried to get into the wall. He sprayed flames on the wall, lit the wall on fire, and that extended up to the ceiling.”
Fire crews showed up at about 8:30 pm on Tuesday, but found there were challenges in putting out the blaze. After learning that there may be ammunition inside the home, they were forced to keep their distance as they tried to put out the spider-induced fire.
Moore said the man ended up doing about $40,000 worth of damage to the home, which is rented. There is another $20,000 of damages to the contents of the home, he added.
“There are safer, more effective ways to kill a spider than using fire,” Moore said. “Fire is not the method to use to kill a spider.”
“Both behavioral traits – killing and consumption – have been witnessed many times by a larger number of researchers in the wild and in captivity,” stated a report in io9. “These spiders possess large strong chelicerae (pincer-like claws) capable of piercing the skin of vertebrates and are equipped with powerful venoms containing hundreds of different neurotoxins, some of which are specific to vertebrate nervous systems.”
There was no word whether the spider in the Seattle man’s home was of the flesh-eating variety, but either way it’s likely gone now. Moore said the outlook for the spider was not good.
“I’m pretty sure the spider did not survive this fire,” he said. “The whole wall went.”
[Photo via KOMO News]