A man in Woodbury, New Jersey accidentally set his home on fire while attempting to remedy his bedbug invasion with a solution he found online, the Associated Press reported. The homeowner and firefighters suffered only minor smoke inhalation injuries.
He was reportedly using a space heater, a hair dryer and a heat gun after reading online that concentrated heat could kill bedbugs, which had invaded the second floor of his home. The initial phase of the fire started around noon on Wednesday, which firefighters quickly put out, but it rekindled itself around 5:15 p.m., according to NBC 10 Philadelphia.
“He went online, got some instructions on how to do so. The fire started and he was out here trying to put it out with a garden hose. He suffered smoke inhalation and had to go to the hospital,” neighbor Tom Lanigan told WPVI.
Though the Environmental Protection Agency agrees that high concentrated heat can be used to kill bedbugs, they recommend getting pest management professionals involved because special equipment is often needed to administer the heat.
“Somebody could have been more seriously hurt, luckily that wasn’t the case. But when you’re dealing with the temperatures like we are now, it makes that hazard more dangerous,” Woodbury Fire Chief Randall Gartner told WPVI.
A Gloucester County Fire Marshal’s Office spokesperson told NBC 10 that the fire was ruled accidental. Woodbury Fire Marshal Joseph Buono reportedly recommended those suffering from bedbug infestations call professionals and “stay off the Interent.”
Watch the video report, published on June 12 with WPVI.
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