A man reportedly using a torch lighter to try to kill a huge spider may have ended up starting a fire that damaged his apartment and forced the residents to move out.
The fire in Redding, California, started Sunday when the flaming spider scurried on top of a mattress, which quickly caught fire and sent flames to nearby drapes and a flag collection, a witness told the Redding Record Searchlight.
The witness, caregiver Lyndsey Wisegarver, told the paper the man was attempting to kill a "huge wolf spider" with the torch lighter — a larger kind of cigarette light that emits a pressurized blue flame.
For reference, this is a wolf spider (warning it is an actual pic of a spider):
Wisegarver did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But Redding Fire Marshal Craig Wittner told BuzzFeed News that the spider attack is what tenants said they were doing.
"And it was such an interesting comment that it grew legs and spread like wildfire," he said, adding that the fire department's investigation remains ongoing.
No one was injured and firefighters were able to quickly extinguish the second-story blaze, which reportedly caused $11,000 in damage and forced the occupants to temporarily find other housing.
It's unclear if the spider survived.
This wouldn't be the first time mankind has used flame-throwing in an attempt to slay a spider. Seattle fire officials in 2014 said a man tried to kill a spider using a can of spray paint and a lighter when the wall caught fire and spread, causing significant damage to his home.
Blake Montgomery is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
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