Bedbug exterminator's propane tank likely cause of house fire

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Cincinnati fire investigators are saying that bedbug extermination equipment may be to blame for a fire that destroyed a Carthage home.

Crews got the call around 2 p.m. that the two-story building at 333 W. Seymour Avenue was on fire.  When firefighters arrived, the home was completely involved. They knocked down the fire at the two-family home more than an hour after arriving on the scene.

"When I got here, there was heavy fire," one firefighter told FOX19.

The side-by-side units that make up the building are occupied by two separate families.

"It's been our home for a long time, and a family home too," said Deborah Owens, who lives in the house and owns it.

Investigators believe the fire started on the first floor of unit 304. Investigators aren't sure what happened, but say a propane tank was being used in a process to kill bedbugs, in which the home is heated to temperatures above 135 degrees.

"I am really sorry that this happened, and we will do everything that we can to make them whole," says Richard Tyree, who owns the extermination company who was performing the treatment. 'Within two minutes of checking the equipment, the fire broke out."

There is heavy damage to the connected unit, unit 306. Unit 304 is a complete loss.

No one got hurt.

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