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Police Horrified By Reason Woman Gave For Setting Her Apartment On Fire

If you're knowledgeable about internet memes, you probably remember an oldie but a goodie: a little girl stands before a blazing inferno that was once a house. Fire fighters work diligently in the background, and the little girl is turned, facing the camera, a look of serenity and satisfaction on her face. "There was a spider... It's gone now," the caption reads.

Well, it's no longer a meme. A Kansas woman set her apartment on fire and burned it down. She was trying to kill a bug.

For some reason, Monique Quarles doesn't think about getting a can of Raid, or a big shoe when she sees a bug. When her daughter pointed out a bug to the woman in their Topeka apartment, the mom decided to burn it with her lighter.

Firefighters were dispatched to put out the blaze around 3:45 a.m. on Monday morning. The damages were estimated to be around $140,000, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. Quarles tried to explain to the firefighters what happened that started the blaze, but no matter how you slice it, the story just doesn't make sense.

Ausha Scott, Quarles' daughter, told her mother that she saw a bug in the bedroom. Quarles took a look and found the bug. No word on what kind of bug it was, but Quarles apparently picked it up in her hand. Instead of flushing it or throwing it out a window, she took her cigarette lighter and burned it alive.

Quarles then decided to check the mattress for more bugs, and she found a 'medium sized' one crawling underneath. Quarles picked it up, flipped her lighter and tried to light this one on fire, too. Then, she says, it 'started sparking'.

The lighter, that is. Not the bug.

"When I grabbed the bug and I had it, I went to light it and then the lighter started sparking, so these sparks then went onto the box springs,” she said to the Capital-Journal. “The sparks just started flying on it and inside of it.”

Ausha and Quarles worked diligently to try and put out the fire, but it was spreading quickly. The mom finally realized it was a losing battle.

“I said, ‘Get out, get the baby, call 911.’ And that’s what we did,” she said. She also banged on the doors of her neighbors to evacuate the building.

According to fire officials, 17 residents were displaced due to the blaze. One person suffered from minor smoke inhalation and was treated at the local hospital, but thankfully, other than the bugs, no one suffered any injuries.

There is no word yet on whether Quarles will face any charges for starting the fire, or if she’ll be held responsible for any of the damage it caused. Hopefully the fire starter has learned a lesson, and will be a bit more sensible next time she encounters a bug. Don’t torch it, just squash it. It’s a lot safer.

Source: NY Daily News, Washington Post
Photo: YouTube

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