A woman trying to burn an insect in her bedroom started a process that led to the evacuation of people from the building and a $ 140,000 damage to the structure.
The incident took place in an apartment complex in Topeka, Kansas, with firefighters explaining that the investigation determined that the fire started in the main bedroom of one of the apartments. The cause was classified as accidental, resulting from an occupant trying to kill an insect with a lighter.
Monique Quarles told the Topeka Capital-Journal that shortly before 3:45 Monday morning, her daughter Ausha Scott and 2-year-old granddaughter were on the third floor of their Fairlawn Green apartment complex.
In a video interview with the Capital-Journal, Quarles said her daughter alerted her to the bug. “I found the bug, picked the bug up and I put it in my hand and lit it on fire,” Quarles said. She then decided to pick up her mattress to see if there were any more bugs. Quarles and her daughter saw a medium sized bug. Again Quarles tried to set it on fire. But her flip-style lighter “started sparking” and the box spring ended up in flames.