Man's attempt to torch spider turns into unmitigated disaster


Redding firefighters said residents tried to kill a spider using a torch lighter. Wolf spiders are venomous insects that have hairy bodies and can be more than 1-inch long.

The man's actions caused considerable damage to the apartment, but there was no information on whether the spider survived. While the fire didn't kill the spider instantly, the burning spider did run into a mattress, setting it on fire - a fire that spread to the drapes and a flag collection.

Residents did attempt putting out the fire with a garden hose but were unsuccessful, quotes fire officials.

Flames quickly spread from the mattress to curtains and several other items in the bedroom, fire officials said.

Firefighters from the Redding Fire Department rushed to the scene, arriving to find smoke streaming out of the second floor of the building.

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No one was injured, however, the fire did cause about $11,000 in damage.

They managed to put out the fire in about 15 minutes, but said the building's occupants will have to stay elsewhere since the structure was deemed unsound.

"We'll make it work", she said.

They say they were trying to burn the spider with a propane torch when they accidentally ignited the corner of a box spring.

They should be considered unsafe to humans and the bite may be very painful.