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01/10/2016 06:41 am ET Updated Jan 10, 2016

Man Sets Himself And Apartment On Fire While Trying To Kill Bedbugs

"He was melting. I was scared. He was screaming."

A man accidentally set himself and his Detroit apartment on fire while trying to kill bedbugs, according to reports.

The unidentified 30-year-old tenant sprayed rubbing alcohol on his couch and body early Jan. 3 in a bid to eliminate the pests, the Detroit Free Press reported.

He sat down around 4:30 a.m. and lit a cigarette, and also tried to burn one of the critters. But the alcohol-soaked chair caught fire.

The seat and his body went up in flames, which spread to the rest of his eighth-floor apartment at the St. Antoine Gardens complex in Midtown. The man escaped the devastating blaze but suffered severe burns, according to CBS Detroit.

Johanahn Larsosa, another resident at the complex, saw the man in the lobby and prayed with him at his request before emergency crews arrived. "He was melting," Larsosa told the Detroit Free Press. "I was scared. He was screaming."

Detroit has been named the most bedbug-infested city in the U.S.
Credit: smuay via Getty Images
Detroit has been named the most bedbug-infested city in the U.S.

The injured man was taken to the hospital, where he is now recovering, said Dan Austin, a spokesman for the mayor's office. His current condition is not known. 

Detroit firefighters helped evacuate the complex as smoke filled up its hallways, according to Fox 2 Detroit. The blaze spread to four other homes before it was extinguished. Two dozen more apartments suffered severe water damage, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The blaze has displaced multiple residents of the 120-unit building, which mainly houses people on Section 8 assistance, WXYZ reported. Others are unable to take showers or cook in their apartments, and some tenants are sleeping on cots in the community room.

Cleveland-based Millennia Housing Management, which manages the complex, said it was restoring four of the 10 units the city inspector ruled uninhabitable, and would clean the others up as soon as possible. MHM said it was also working alongside the Red Cross to find temporary housing for other displaced tenants, per WXYZ.

Residents said the complex is infested with bedbugs, and multiple complaints about the issue had previously been filed, according to the Detroit Free Press. MHM has not commented on those allegations.

Detroit is the most bedbug-infested city in the U.S., followed by Philadelphia, Cleveland and Los Angeles, according to a report by pest control company Terminix.

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