Some of us at IFLScience love spiders. They’re the catchers of mosquitos and the fanciers of flamboyant dances. Others don’t; they see them as the creepiest of crawlies, the furry fiends of nightmare fuel, and even the bringers of inadvertent boners.
Those in the public realm that fall into the latter category may wish to annihilate a spider with fire the moment they see one. Take this anxiety-ridden man from Tucson, Arizona, as an example. Spotting a few web-wielding spiders – along with some other anonymous insects – scuttling around a trailer next to his home, he decided to cleanse them with hellfire.
According to the Tuscon Fire Department, they suspect that his plan didn’t quite go as well as he thought. Instead of standing over their cooking corpses and laughing like a maniac, the propane flamethrower he used appears to have set the entire area ablaze.
The conflagration was so mighty that it took 23 firefighters to extinguish it. Although some of the mobile home still stands, it was immediately clear that it was beyond salvation. No deaths were reported, but an elderly lady – who was inside the trailer at the time – was taken to the hospital with minor injuries.
The moral of the story, ladies and gentlemen, is this: If you’re that keen to kill it with fire, as they say, then it’s best you don’t do so on flammable property that still has people inside it.
There's a fair chance that those now extremely crispy spiders were harmless, too. That makes this particular battle an extremely unfair fight. This was somewhat like using a grenade launcher to take out an errant possum – pointless, and incredibly disproportionate to the actual threat level.
Either way, considering that the spiders’ homes and the human residence were both taken out, we’d call that a draw.