New York, Mar 21 (PTI) A 21-year-old man in the US burned down his parents’ home and killed three pets after accidentally starting a fire while trying to exterminate ants.

Devon Doucette, who lived in his parents’ home in Old Orchard Beach, Maine, was attempting to get rid of ants in the basement by incinerating them with wooden matches.

One of those matches ignited nearby combustibles and the fire quickly spread to the rest of the house, Bangor Daily News reported.

Doucette, who was the only person home at the time, suffered smoke inhalation and burns to his hands and arms as he carried some burning items out of the house. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated and released.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office said that Doucette, who was trying to exterminate ants in the basement on Saturday, started the fire that destroyed the home of his parents — Maurice and Barbara Doucette.

Maurice and Barbara were not at home at the time of the accident. Their daughter Joyce is a sophomore at Old Orchard Beach High School while their other son, Noah, was backpacking across the country.

Shortly after the fire, John Suttie, school superintendent and principal at the high school, got a message from the school resource officer letting him know that a student’s family had been affected.

Within hours, the superintendent sent emails and made phone calls to every family in the school district. Friends put out a list of needed items and residents began dropping off clothes, toiletries and gift cards.

Donations poured into a GoFundMe page set up for the family and surpassed the USD 10,000 goal within 24 hours.

Fire investigators said no charges were likely in the incident.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.