A man in suburban Richton Park set his house and part of his neighbor's house on fire Tuesday when he lit a smoke bomb in an attempt to prevent squirrels from entering his home.
Resident Robert Hughes was tired of hearing squirrels run around inside his walls, so he decided to smoke them out, WLS reports. Hughs set off a "rodent smoke bomb" in the gutter of his home, hoping the squirrels would run out of the hole that allowed them access to his walls. Unfortunately, the plan backfired.
The townhome caught fire after Hughes lit a smoke bomb in a gutter near the hole the squirrels used to access his home. No one was injured, but Hughes' unit and a neighbor's in the building in the 3000 block of Euclid Court were badly damaged.
Windows from the home were broken, the screens were torn off the frames, and there was rubble inside both residences. Hughes' unit also had visible fire damage running up the side of the building to the second floor.
Both Hughes' family and the 77-year-old woman living next door have been forced to find alternative housing, since the blaze left their homes uninhabitable for now.
"I've lived here about 30 years, and there's a lot of things inside that I cherish, and now I know those are things I can't get out," Hughes' neighbor told the SouthtownStar, adding that she was "frustrated" by the incident.
The Richton Park fire chief told the Tribune he did not see any squirrels on the scene.