SEATTLE — A West Seattle house was set on fire by a man trying to kill a spider with a makeshift blow torch.
It happened in Arbor Heights around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Firefighters say the man who rented the house was trying to kill a spider in the laundry room with a can of spray paint and a lighter. The flames quickly spread through the room and into the attic.
“I saw flames coming out of the side of the house and heard popping sounds,” said neighbor Sue Green.
Fire crews worried there could be ammunition in the house. They told neighbors to go back inside. The threat of explosives in the house was later ruled out.
“There were giant clouds of smoke pouring out of the windows,” said Kaitlin Sharp who lives nearby.
Neighbors hosed down their houses and yards hoping to keep the flames from spreading.
The man who started the fire lives in the house with his mother. When the fire got out of control, he called 911. The owners of the house showed up to see the damage. The fire caused $40,000 of damage to the structure, and $20,000 worth of its contents.
The Red Cross is helping the renters.