Man Trying to Kill Spider Sets Fire to His Apartment

Man trying to kill wolf spider sets fire to his home.
Redding, Calif., firefighters battled the blaze that was caused by a flaming wolf spider.PetWorld/Redding Fire Dept.

A California man tried to kill a wolf spider by lighting it on fire, but ended up burning down his apartment.

In an act akin to killing a fly with a sledgehammer, a California man set fire to a spider and wound up burning his apartment.

"It was a huge wolf spider," said Lyndsey Wisegarver, a caregiver for one of the men living in the home, according to the Redding Record Searchlight.

The fire starter used a torch lighter to ignite the spider in an upstairs bedroom, Wisegarver said. The flaming arachnid scurried onto a mattress, setting it ablaze.

Flames then spread to a flag collection and the draperies, she said. The apartment's tenants tried in vain to extinguish the fire with a garden hose.

Redding firefighters arrived shortly thereafter. The home was deemed uninhabitable and the residents now have to find a new place to live.

No one was hurt, and flames didn't spread to other units in the building, according to fire officials.

A torch lighter is similar to a cigarette lighter but with a bigger flame. Wolf spiders can grow to about two inches in length and have eight eyes in rows of three. Their bite is painful, but not lethal to humans.

On its Facebook page, the Redding Fire Department advised residents to "call an exterminator if you have spiders... and don't try to burn them."