House burns in attempt to rid bedbugs

Times-Reporter (OH)
Friday, July 22, 2011

An overheated chimney is believed to have been the source of a fire that caused major damage to one side of the Glenn Frey residence at 9307 Pleasant Hill Road in Wayne Township on Wednesday afternoon.

Capt. Jason Ely of the Wayne Township (Dundee) Fire Department said Frey had heard that bedbugs could be eliminated by heating a house up to 140 degrees, and that's what he had attempted to do, as a family member had encountered bedbugs on a trip west and inadvertently brought them back.

Ely said Frey told firefighters that he had the temperature up to 120 degrees in the basement, and up to 112 degrees in a bedroom before the fire was reported at 4:38 p.m.

In addition to being extremely hot inside the house, firefighters from six fire departments also were working in outside temperatures of about 95 degrees, which resulted in many being treated for heat exhaustion at the scene as they fought the blaze.

"It was extremely hot," said Dundee Fire Chief David Maurer, noting that a firefighter from his department was treated in Union Hospital in Dover for heat exhaustion.

The structure, a two-story, wood-frame house was built around a partial log cabin. Ely said the fire was in the walls, and firefighters had to tear out an interior wall to get to it. They also had to tear down an exterior wall.

In addition to Dundee, firefighters from Sugarcreek, Strasburg, Beach City, Wilmot, and Winesburg fire departments assisted. They were aided by personnel from Smith and Swiss Valley ambulance services, and the Salvation Army Canteen, which supplied fluids and snacks.