fire

Don’t use kerosene to kill bed bugs; be cautious with alcohol

June 18, 2014

A tenant in Augusta, Georgia was horrified to find that after her building’s maintenance department treated her home for bed bugs, it smelled like kerosene. She was right to be concerned, since applying kerosene is a dangerous and inappropriate method for treating bed bugs. WRDW reports, “They came in to spray for bed bugs, to […]

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Were bed bugs behind the NYC bug bomb fire and explosion?

July 13, 2013

On Thursday morning, a building in New York City’s Chinatown exploded and a fire was started after a resident set off many bug bombs (foggers) at once. The New York Times noted Thursday that the explosion “was powerful enough to blow out windows on the first three floors of the five-story tenement building at 17 Pike Street” […]

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Attempted bed bug treatment with alcohol destroys Kentucky building, leaves 30 homeless

July 1, 2012

Another “do-it-yourself” attempt at bed bug eradication has ended in disaster. Two historic buildings in the village of Carlisle, Kentucky (population 1900) were destroyed by fire on Friday, June 29. Fifteen to thirty people (depending on source) have lost their home and all possessions. Based on news reports, some of the residents are elderly and/or […]

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Another Cincinnati DIY treatment results in a fire (and this time, $100K in damages)

August 9, 2011

FOX19 in Greater Cincinnati reports that yet another fire was started at home on Monday by someone trying to do their own bed bug treatment, in an apartment in Avondale, Ohio: The cause of the fire has been determined to be accidental after a tenant was trying to get rid of bed bugs in her […]

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Thermal treatment for bed bugs destroys home of two Cincinnati families

May 18, 2011

A thermal treatment for bed bugs has ended in sorrow. Two families were displaced when a two-family home in Carthage, Ohio caught fire during structural heat treatment. According to Cincinnati.com, Cincinnati Fire District Chief Glenn Coleman said one of the six [propane] heaters Tyree was using ignited carpet in a living room, a fire that […]

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Out of the frying pan and into the fire

January 25, 2011

UPI reports that another person has set their home on fire by attempting to self-treat for bed bugs (with rubbing alcohol) while smoking. This time it happened in Mount Carmel, Ohio, in a rented home. Here’s a similar story from January 2009 (Cincinnati), and another from October 2009 (Hamilton County). Q: What do these cases […]

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Bed bug-infested mattress set on fire by NYCHA cleaner

October 28, 2010

Don’t try this at home! The Daily News reported yesterday that Miriam Ortiz, a cleaner who works in the New York City Housing Authority’s Manhattanville houses has been charged with arson, after setting fire to a bed bug infested mattress. This happened on the 10th floor of a 20-story building. The Daily News noted that […]

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Heat treatment for bed bugs is not a Do It Yourself project

September 27, 2010

Although heat treatments can be effective for bed bugs, this is not a treatment method you can do yourself. A Lexington, Kentucky woman recently set her home on fire while trying to treat her home with heat to kill bed bugs. WKYT reports, Carol says they’ve called exterminators in before to no avail. So frustrated, […]

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Astoria fires caused by attempts to treat bed bugs with gasoline

December 21, 2009

The Queens Gazette reports that the NYC Fire Department has seen multiple incidents (in Astoria alone) of fires started after residents poured gasoline on mattresses to kill bed bugs. Some people with bed bugs even applied gasoline to themselves and their children. FDNY officials said several Astoria residents called 911 over the past few months […]

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Yet another person tries to self-treat for bed bugs and sets building on fire

October 13, 2009

Cincinnati.com reports that fourteen people living in a Hamilton County, Ohio apartment building were displaced overnight by a fire caused by someone spraying alcohol-based pesticides while smoking: Fire investigators have determined the blaze was started by a resident spraying for bed bugs while smoking, said Capt. Steve Conn, spokesman for the Colerain Township Fire Department. […]

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Chicago’s 1909 “Crib Fire” which killed 50 men, may have been due to bed bugs

February 17, 2009

On January 20, 1909, fifty working men perished, after the structure they were living on caught fire. The “crib” was a wood-and-brick structure the men lived on for weeks at a time while building a brick-lined tunnel under the lake. They were paid $1-$2 a week and were mostly Irish immigrants. Historians think the fire […]

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Self-treatment for bed bugs probably caused Cincinnati fire

January 26, 2009

This article from Local 12 in Cincinnati, Ohio reports that a resident’s attempts to self-treat for bed bugs likely contributed to a fire last night in Scottwood Avenue in Bond Hill. Investigators believe the resident was treating a bedroom with a mixture of alcohol and bug killing solution. A cigarette may have ignited fumes generated […]

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