West Seattle House Fire Caused by Man Trying to Kill Spider



July 15- Seattle Fire Investigators determined the cause of a home fire in West Seattle was a resident using an aerosol spray can with a lighter as a man-made blowtorch to attempt to exterminate a spider.

The first 911 call came in at 8:27 p.m. reporting a wall fire in a home located in the 10200 block of 34th Avenue SW. When firefighter arrived they found heavy black smoke and flames coming from the one-story house.  A person on-scene informed the fire crew that there may be ammunition and firearms stored inside the house.  The potential danger of live ammunition igniting by flames prompted fire crews to fight the fire from the outside in a defensive position. Also, nearby houses and crowds of onlookers were moved away from the scene to protect them from any potential flying projectiles.

After receiving confirmation from the tenants there wasn’t any ammunition stored in the house, the crews went offensive and knocked down the bulk of the fire in 5 minutes. The flames moved up through the laundry room wall and into the attic space.  It took firefighters 30 minutes to completely extinguish the fire.

Fire investigators determined the adult male tenant of the house accidentally started the house fire by trying to kill a spider using his homemade blowtorch. The tenant shot flames into the wall to kill the arachnid and started the wall fire.

The fire caused an estimated 60 thousand dollars in damage including 40 thousand dollars in structure damage and 20 thousand dollars in content damage.

Red Cross was called out to assist the displaced residents with temporary shelter.

There were no reported injuries.