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‘Get a professional.’ Woman tries to kill bedbugs with alcohol, sets house ablaze

A woman trying to exterminate bedbugs accidentally set fire Friday to a Cincinnati home.
A woman trying to exterminate bedbugs accidentally set fire Friday to a Cincinnati home. The Associated Press file

A do-it-yourself bedbug extermination attempt gone awry Friday night left a Cincinnati home in flames and displaced 10 people, fire officials say.

The fire broke out about midnight Friday in the multifamily home, which had five units, in the city’s Avondale neighborhood, reported WKRC. Three people suffered smoke inhalation. The blaze caused $250,000 damage.

It’s the second recent such incident in Cincinnati.

The blaze Friday night began when a woman on the first floor tried to kill bedbugs with alcohol that ignited near an open flame, either a candle or burning incense, Cincinnati fire officials told WXIX.

“When I got here the whole house was on fire,” resident Kamaron Lyshe told WXIX. Lyshe posted a video to Facebook of the conflagration.


My House caught fire n got burned down - all my stuff is gone maaaaaan

Posted by Kamaron Cvb Lyshe-Berry on Friday, December 8, 2017

A GoFundMe campaign has been created to raise money for the Lyshe family. By Sunday, the drive had raised $875 toward its $15,000 goal.

“End of the day, we're all good.... Just in disbelief,” wrote Brendan Lyshe-Berry on GoFundMe. “We will have to start all over again and rebuild.”

On Nov. 28, a 13-year-old boy trying to burn away bedbugs with alcohol and a match ignited his mattress, causing $300,000 damage to a Cincinnati apartment complex and displacing eight people. No one was injured in the blaze.

In January 2016, a Detroit man set fire to himself and his apartment trying to exterminate bedbugs, reported The Detroit Free Press. And in June 2013, a New Jersey man burned down his house trying to eradicate the pests using a space heater, a hair dryer and a heat gun, reported CBS News.

District 3 Fire Chief Randy Freel of the Cincinnati Fire Department had some advice for people dealing with bedbug problems. “Get a professional,” Freel told WXIX.

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