Too many bug bombs blast house

January 23, 2008 4:30:54 AM PST
It may have looked like a good idea, but it sure didn't turn out that way. A Galveston homeowner is scratching her head after damaging her own home.It seemed like a simple solution, but for homeowner Patricia Espiricueta, it turned out to be a very costly decision.

"I wanted to cry," she said.

It happened on Monday. The mother of three was fed up with roaches in her home, so she went to the store and bought indoor bug fogger. Thinking she would rid her home of the pests, she set off five canisters in her kitchen and bathroom, and then left. What happened next terrified neighbors.

"It sounded like an explosion, or like a car had crashed into the building," recalled neighbor Corinna Carubba.

Firefighters say the combination of fumes, along with a lit pilot light, caused the home to literally explode. The roof on the house was lifted about four inches.

As shocking as the incident was, Galveston's fire marshal says it's not the first case he's seen. He advises anyone who uses indoor foggers to read the label carefully. Most foggers should not be used in small spaces, or around anything which can ignite.

"(People) can die if (foggers) are used improperly," warned Galveston fire marshal Gilbert Robinson.

It's a lesson Espiricueta learned the hard way.

She promised, "I'm not going to use this no more!"

Fortunately, no one was injured. The house suffered about $15,000 in damage. The family does have insurance. They are currently staying with family members.

If you have any questions about how to use a fogger, Robinson advises you call the fire department. They can give you some tips on safe usage.

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