The man himself escaped with second-degree burns and is now on the road to recovery.
A 21-year-old man in Maine burned down his family’s home this past Saturday while trying to exterminate ants, according to CBS News.
Devin Doucette was trying to kill the ant colony, which had taken up residence in the home’s basement, with matches according to Maine’s state fire marshal.
However, one of the ants that Doucette was burning managed to scurry away and implant itself in the wall while on fire, igniting the insulation. The fire took off from there, according to investigators.
The homeowners, Doucette’s parents, were not there at the time. However, still in the house were the family’s two cats and one dog, all three of which died in the fire.
And as for Doucette himself, who will likely not be charged with any crime according to authorities, emergency personnel took him to the hospital for smoke inhalation and the severe burns he received after carrying objects out of the house.
In response, the local community has sprung into action by helping out the Doucettes with donations and necessities, such as clothes. A GoFundMe page set up to help the family has already raised $12,255 and surpassed its goal of $10,000.
“Sadly, the wonderful Doucette family had a house fire yesterday and lost everything, including their loving pets,” the page’s creator, Erica Albair, wrote. “Devin [Doucette] was taken to the hospital with 2nd-degree burns and is out now recovering. Thankfully no one else was in the house so no other injuries. This family is just now starting on their long road on trying to get their life back.”
Alongside local Rose Bowdoin, Albair also helped paint and clean a temporary apartment that a neighbor has offered to let the family use until May.
I am overwhelmed by the generosity of people! It brings joy to my heart knowing all the help my family is receiving! I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart who helped my family in their time of need! I especially want to send a special thank you to Erica Hebert Albair who went above and beyond to help my Daddy and family! Erica has literally been my friend since preschool, and she has definitely proven to be a remarkable friend!