From the do-not-try-this-at-home files.
Shortly before 4 a.m. Monday, Monique Quarles’ daughter told her there was a bug in their Topeka apartment.
Mom to the rescue. Kind of.
“I found the bug, picked the bug up and I put it in my hand and lit it on fire,” Quarles told the Topeka Capital-Journal in a video interview, never explaining why she decided to burn the bug instead of squish it.
Concerned that there might be more bugs in the apartment, Quarles checked under a mattress. She saw another.
“When I grabbed the bug and I had it, I went to light it and then the lighter started sparking, so these sparks then went onto the box springs,” Quarles told the newspaper. “The sparks just started flying on it and inside of it.”
According to KSNT she went to get water to put the fire out but the flames had grown too big by the time she got back to the room.
“Then I said get out, get the baby, I said call 911, and that’s what we did, knocked on doors, to get people out,” Quarles told the Capital-Journal.
This was the aftermath: A two-alarm blaze, more than 30 firefighters battling the fire at the three-story building – two taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and heat exhaustion — and more than $140,000 in damages to the Fairlawn Green Apartments.
No serious injuries were reported. All pets made it out safely, fire officials told KSNT.
Topeka Fire Marshal Mike Martin told reporters the fire displaced 13 adults and six children.
The cause of the fire, which was ruled an accident: “Occupant trying to kill a bug with a lighter.”
No word on what kind of bug it was.