A California man thought he nabbed a spider by setting it on fire on Sunday, but the eight-legged critter, while its body was engulfed in flames, ended up torching his apartment by scurrying on a mattress that quickly went ablaze.
An unidentified man who lived in a Redding apartment was trying to kill a “huge wolf spider” just before setting the apartment on fire, Lyndsey Wisegarver, who lived in the home, told Redding’s Record Searchlight. Wolf spiders are venomous insects that have hairy bodies and can be more than 1-inch long.
The man took a torch lighter and tried to kill the spider by setting it on fire. But the fast-moving arachnid dashed onto a nearby mattress while it was on fire, spreading the flames onto the furniture and drapes.
The residents attempted to put the fire out with a garden hose, but with no luck. They evacuated the building and waited for firefighters to arrive. Firefighters extinguished the flames in the bedroom in 20 minutes — before it engulfed the entire building.
Officials found a fire extinguisher and the hose in the room, KRCR reported.
Wisegarver and the two other men living in the apartment escaped the blaze unharmed, but will have to find a new home. Officials said the apartment is “uninhabitable.”
The fire caused about $11,000 in damage.
Fire officials are investigating the incident. It's unclear if the man will face charges.
Wisegarver looked at the fire as a positive incident and said she and the two men were already thinking about moving out of the apartment, according to the Record Searchlight. The fire “just sped up the process.”
"We'll make it work," she added.