Foolish Mistakes That Destroyed Their Homes

mistakes destroyed houses

There's a reason parents tell their children: "Don't play with fire." So why have so many of us not gotten the point by the time we're adults? Allow us to give you the news flash: Fire is dangerous -- and if you're using it around your house, it is even more so.

A man in California recently tried to remove some cobwebs from his backyard using a blowtorch. The photos you see above were the result. Oh, but the genius doesn't stop there. Click through our gallery to see the bright ideas homeowners and others had that ended in their dwellings being burned to the ground.

Dumb Things Homeowners Do
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Foolish Mistakes That Destroyed Their Homes

Where: Chico, Calif.
Damage: $25,000

If you wanted to clear out some cobwebs from your backyard, you'd probably reach for a broom or something, right? Eiliya Maida thought a blowtorch would be better. Shockingly, his backyard ignited in flames. (Who would have thought?!) The fire spread to his house, and firefighters had to cut a hole in the roof to help put out the blaze. Luckily, Maida's wife and two children escaped safely and no one was injured.

Where: Derby, England
Damage: Thousands of dollars

Children get into everything, and 3-year-old Dontay Mosley was just having some fun with a barbecue lighter -- until the living room carpet went up in flames. Then, as care-free kids will do, Dontay went to the kitchen to enjoy a bowl of cereal as the living room burned. Dontay's mother, Milly, grabbed him and led him out of the house they were renting to safety, along with one of their cats and their dog. Sadly, firefighters couldn't rescue one of their other cats.

In the end, the fire destroyed all of the Mosleys' possessions. "We have lost everything, but we are all very lucky to be alive," Milly told

Where: Burton, Mich.

A man who accidentally caught his jacket on fire with a lit cigarette thought he put the blaze out, so he hung the jacket out on his porch and went to bed. It wasn't until the next morning that he realized his mistake -- because he woke up to the house burning down. The jacket, obviously, was still on fire and ignited the porch. The man and his wife were able to escape unharmed -- but his house, on the other hand, was not.

Where: Denver, Colo.

While Stevie Spencer was painting his house, he put a bowl of paint thinner on a coffee table. Later, when he went to put out a cigarette, he mistook the paint thinner for water. So he dropped the lit butt into the bowl -- and 15 minutes later his home was destroyed.

Spencer evacuated his wife from the house, and he tried to extinguish the flames with a hose. But after suffering minor injuries from the blaze, he gave up and watched the house burn.

Where: Dale City, Va.
Damage: $70,000

When Charles Harris' dog, Thor, died, Harris tried to contact several animal shelters to ask how he should dispose of the carcass. Unfortunately, they were all closed at the time, and the dog was too heavy for Harris to carry to a local animal hospital.

So what's the next logical step? A DIY cremation.

Harris put wood next to the dog's body and doused it with gasoline in his backyard, but the fire got out of hand. It spread to his house, caused severe damage and rendered it temporarily uninhabitable.

Where: Toronto, Canada
Damage: Hundreds of thousands of dollars

Olympic figure skater and gold medalist Kurt Browning accidentally left his Porsche convertible in the rain. So he allegedly used a leaf blower to dry the car's interior, but left the blower unattended in the home's garage, causing a fire.

The flames spread to the house too fast for Browning to put it out with his fire extinguisher. And by the time firefighters arrived in his Forrest Hills neighborhood and evacuated the home, the fire had already broken through the roof. Despite the extensive damage to the house, no one was injured.

Where: Portsmouth, England
Damage: Luckily, very little

As we've already learned, trying to kill spiders with fire usually leads to a bad outcome. But, hey, how about another shot at it?

A man in England saw a spider crawl up the front of his property, so he attempted to set it on fire. But the sparks ignited the surrounding material, causing the insulation between the walls to catch on fire.

Firefighters responded and removed the rest of the insulation, and after two hours, they were able to put out the fire before it reached the roof.

"Surprisingly there wasn't much damage to the house other than to the [insulation]," watch manager Steve Pearce told The Telegraph. "We obviously had a chat with the man, but I don't think he'll be doing this again."

Oh, you never know.

Where: Montana Vista, Texas
Damage: One house burned to ground, nearby house damaged

Can we agree by now that killing any kind of bug with fire is a bad idea? Luciano Ramos used gasoline to burn a beehive near his home. The fire spread to his house -- and then ignited a second home nearby. Firefighters were able to save the second house, but Ramos' dwelling burned to the ground. His wife and two children weren't home at the time, and no one was injured.


See also:
Listing Fails: The Best of the Worst in Real Estate This Week
10 Home Improvements That Are a Waste of Money

Home Improvement: Do's and Don'ts From a Pro

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