A home in Ferndale was destroyed Monday, Feb. 19, after a resident tried to get rid of rodents by using a rodent smoke bomb under the house, which started a fire, according to the Fire Department.

A home in Ferndale was destroyed Monday, Feb. 19, after a resident tried to get rid of rodents by using a rodent smoke bomb under the house, which started a fire, according to the Fire Department.

Photo by Deb Jacques


Fire starts after rodent smoke bomb thrown into crawl space

By: Mike Koury | Woodward Talk | Published February 27, 2018

FERNDALE — A home in Ferndale has been destroyed after, according to the Fire Department, a resident tried to get rid of rodents by using a smoke bomb, which caused the house to catch fire.

The fire was reported to the Fire Department at around 10:27 a.m. Monday, Feb. 19, in the 300 block of West Webster Street.

Fire Chief Kevin Sullivan said the person who caused the fire was a renter of the home, and he thought he had skunks in the crawl space of the home. There was access outside the home to the crawl space, which he used to toss a smoke bomb under the house.

“He got a rodent poison smoke bomb to disperse of the skunks, and he stuck it under there, which set his house on fire, because those things are directed to go into a borehole or a hole in the earth ... not under your house,” he said.

Sullivan said the fire that started underneath the home burned through the first floor and went through the walls into the attic. The chief also said that the fire wasn’t reported for 15 minutes until the man called the Fire Department.

“A fire can double in size every 11 to 15 seconds, so do the math,” he said.

When the Fire Department got to the scene, Sullivan said, the first-floor bedroom and crawl space were on fire, which was difficult to get to because there was only one small access hole. Firefighters had to cut their way into the crawl space and extinguish the bedroom fire, and then they realized that the fire had reached the attic. 

“It burned through the roof. We had to cut holes in the roof, and then the front and sides of the house, trying to get to the fire. By the time all that was done, he had lost everything,” he said.

Sullivan said smoke bombs have materials in them that go off like a flare, but instead of a bright fire, it creates smoke. 

“It’s still fire,” Sullivan said.

“I would say it’s fully damaged,” he said of the home. “It’s structurally still standing, but I think they’re going to have to completely strip it and do roof and floor restructure and attic restructure.”