Attempt to burn bugs leads to apartment fire

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) — A fire broke out just before 4:00 Monday morning in a Fairlawn Green apartment building. The woman who started the fire says she was trying to kill a bug.

“She saw a bug, so I found the bug, and I picked the bug up, and put it in my hand and I lit it on fire and I burned it,” Monique Quarles said.

However, she didn’t stop there. Quarles wanted to see if there were more bugs under her mattress. She found one and went to light it on fire as well.

“I went to light it and the lighter started sparking, these sparks then went onto the box spring,” Quarles said.

She said the sparks just starting flying on the box spring and that is when the flames started.

She went to get water to put the fire out and when she returned to the room, the fire had grown.

“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 said.

Everyone was able to get out of the building, but it wasn’t easy.

“There was so much black flame you could hardly see in general,” Quarles said.

13 adults and six children were forced to leave the building and had to move out. The doors to the building are being boarded until repairs are made.

One person was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation and are expected to be fine. A firefighter was also taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion.

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