A home at 33rd Street and Mersington Avenue was damaged by fire Wednesday when a man tried to smoke out a family of raccoons that had invaded the upper level of his home.
"I'd see him; he came out every night. I'd take my BB gun and shoot it. He'd take off and come right back," C.W. Roseburr said. "He had a nest up in there. I think he had three or four baby raccoons up there."
Roseburr, 72, told KMBC's Maria Antonia that he had a rag with kerosene on it on the end of the stick, and he was trying to get the animals out when the eaves caught fire.
"I set the raccoon on fire. He's the one that set the house on fire," Roseburr said. "I had no idea this was going to happen."
Fire crews were called and quickly put out the blaze. No one was hurt.
Animal control officers could find only two baby raccoons. The animals were taken away. Antonia said that a nature center would care for them for the time being.
Firefighters recommend calling an animal expert rather than trying to smoke out varmints.
"This is the first time I've seen anything like this, and I know they've learned a valuable lesson: You call somebody that knows how to handle these situations," Kansas City Fire Chief Mark Falder said.
"C.W., given what's happened, what would you do differently?" Antonia asked.
"I'd probably do the same thing again," Roseburr said.
He and his family will be staying elsewhere for a while.
E-Mail: Contact Maria Antonia
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