A Cincinnati woman burned down her house trying to get rid of bedbugs, injuring three people and leaving ten homeless, WXIX-TV (Cincinnati) is reporting.
Bedbugs are right up there with ghosts as the most unwanted “guests” imaginable, and if you see one, more of his friends are hiding somewhere. And getting rid of them should be your top priority. However, there are right ways and wrong ways to get rid of them, as the residents of the Hutchins Avenue home found out the hard way.
Authorities say that the woman was trying to get rid of the pests using rubbing alcohol, which then ignited due to a nearby open flame – perhaps a candle or a burning incense stick. The fire did an estimated $250,000 to the multi-family structure, leaving three teenagers and seven adults temporarily homeless.
What’s more, three adults were treated at nearby hospitals for smoke inhalation. They are expected to recover. An elderly woman, who couldn’t see due to the smoke, was evacuated by firefighters. She was not injured.
Kamaron Lyshe, who had lived at the home, rushed home from work when he learned that his home was on fire. This being the age of social media, he took the time to live-stream the fire on Facebook, even as everything he owned was burning to the ground.
“I’m kind of dealing with it now. I’ll start from scratch. It’s like a dream….everything is burnt. I’ll start fresh. It’s all we can do now.”
Meanwhile, the Red Cross is helping the families displaced by the fire with emergency housing.
In case you were wondering, using rubbing alcohol is an effective way to get rid of bedbugs, according to Angie’s List. The chemical kills the pests immediately on touch. However, clearly that “solution” comes with risks.
Cincinnati fire officials note that this was the second fire in the city accidentally started by someone trying to get rid of bedbugs. And District 3 Fire Chief Randy Freel has a word of advice for anyone dealing with bedbugs: “Get a professional.”
Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Hiring a professional bedbug exterminator can cost between $500 and $1,500 – and that’s if the exterminator gets rid of them all on the first try. And before the technician comes and sprays, according to Terminix, you have to launder and dry every last sheet, curtain, towel, garment, pair of underwear – everything you own that’s made of cloth – and then bag it in a plastic bag.