Man attempting to “put out bed bugs with a cigarette” accidentally starts mattress fire

MADISON (WKOW) — A man who said he was, “trying to put out bed bugs with a cigarette,” accidentally started a mattress on fire Thursday in a west side hotel.

Firefighters responded to the hotel overnight for a report of a mattress on fire in one of the rooms, according to a Madison Fire Department incident report.

Guest were evacuated as firefighters responded.

As firefighters entered the hotel, a manager notified them that the mattress had already been brought outside. They went outside to ensure the mattress was fully extinguished.

Upon returning inside, a significant amount of smoke was still lingering in the third floor hallway. Firefighters set up fans to ventilate the interior as they pieced together what happened.

A guest at the hotel explained to firefighters that he was “trying to put out bed bugs with a cigarette,” when the mattress caught fire. The fire then activated an automatic sprinkler.

Firefighters remained on scene until several rooms impacted by the smoke were fully cleared. Nobody was injured during the incident.

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