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Man starts fire while using makeshift blowtorch to kill spider

Debris from a fire fills the backyard next to the now boarded-up house where a man used a can of spray paint and a lighter as a makeshift blowtorch to kill a spider.

Elaine Thompson/AP

Debris from a fire filled the backyard next of the now boarded-up house where a man used a can of spray paint and a lighter as a makeshift blowtorch to kill a spider.

SEATTLE (AP) — A man who used a can of spray paint and a lighter as a makeshift blowtorch to kill a spider in his laundry room started a blaze that caused $60,000 worth of damage, Seattle fire officials said Wednesday.

The man and his mother got out of the house, and no injuries were reported in the fire that broke out in the West Seattle home Tuesday night, said Kyle Moore, a spokesman for the Seattle Fire Department.

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Moore said the man used the spray paint and lighter as ‘‘a self-made blowtorch to kill a spider in the laundry room’’ of a rental house.

‘‘I don’t want to encourage people to do this, but that’s what he did,’’ Moore said Wednesday. ‘‘The spider tried to get into the wall. He sprayed flames on the wall, lit the wall on fire, and that extended up to the ceiling.’’

Fire crews were called to the home in the home just south of Seattle just before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Firefighters initially battled the blaze from the outside after getting reports that there may be ammunition in the home. Crews eventually went inside the house after confirming from tenants that there was no ammunition inside.

The man initially tried to put water on the fire, but he wasn’t able to put it out and the blaze spread quickly spread into the attic.

‘‘There are safer, more effective ways to kill a spider than using fire,’’ Moore said. ‘‘Fire is not the method to use to kill a spider.’’

The Red Cross is providing temporary shelter for the home’s two residents, whom authorities have not identified.

As for the spider, Moore said: ‘‘I'm pretty sure the spider did not survive this fire. The whole wall went.’’

A spider

DAVID EBENER/AFP/Getty Images

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