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Posted on Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 7:12 p.m.

House catches fire after man tries smoking rodents out of shed

By John Counts

The exterior of an Ypsilanti Township home was damaged Friday by a fire started when a rodent smoke bomb got out of control, officials said.

The Ypsilanti Township Fire Department was called to a home 1104 Borgstrom Avenue at 5:01 p.m. for the fire, said Lt. Brad Johnson.

The 49-year-old man who lives at the single family home with his family already had the fire mostly out with a garden hose, Johnson said. Firefighters did use the garden hose to put out some hot spots, however. There were no injuries.

Johnson said the fire started in a shed directly next to the house where the 49-year-old had lit a smoke bomb — the kind that evicts rodents such as rats, moles and mice. The bomb ignited the shed and burned it to the ground.

“The shed burned without them knowing it,” Johnson said.

The fire spread to the exterior of the main house, but it did not spread inside and there was no interior damage. The family was not displaced.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sun, Apr 28, 2013 : 2:33 p.m.

I've never used a rodent smoke bomb myself, though Lord knows I've seen them offered next to the cash register often enough, but I wonder if they don't come with directions?


Mon, Apr 29, 2013 : 2:30 p.m.

Directions? DIRECTIONS?! We don't need no stinkin' directions!! I just light de thing on fire and throw it in!


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 9:22 p.m.

All these smoking rodent one liners are pretty good!


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 7:19 p.m.

I used to smoke rodents but I got tired of fighting to keep them on the rolling papers.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 6 p.m.

"when your shed's on fire, you must realize, smoke get in their eyes........"

Homeland Conspiracy

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 5:54 p.m.

These rodents need to understand that smoking is BAD Mmk


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 2:18 p.m.

Fire bad....Chaka....Fire bad


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:51 p.m.



Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:15 p.m.

Great guys, now i have this urge to watch Caddyshack again.....oh well, it's suppose to rain this weekend..

Nicholas Urfe

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:56 p.m.

I don't think the heavy stuff's going to come down for quite a while.

Ron Burgandy

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 10:42 a.m.

"In the immortal words of Jean Paul Sartre, 'Au revoir, gopher'".


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:14 p.m.

I thought it was "au revoir, Simone de Bouvoir"...


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 10:36 a.m.

"License to kill gophers by the government of the United Nations. Man, free to kill gophers at will. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit - ever. They're like the Viet Cong - Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower. And that's all she wrote." - Carl Spackler Asst. Groundskeeper Bushwood Country Club


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 2:08 p.m.

Thank you for the morning chortle. :-)


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:20 p.m.

Mind if I play through?


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 4:20 a.m.

Rodents were later seen dancing to a Kenny loggins song.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 3:40 a.m.

Rodents 1, homeowner 0.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 2:54 a.m.



Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:55 a.m.

I once tried smoking rodents out in the shed - same results as this guy. I gave up smoking rodents after that. ;-) The U.S. Army Air Force (later renamed "U.S. Air Force") had a program which involved using bats carrying tiny fire bombs to use against Japanese buildings. The program was discontinued after one test resulted in the bats flying away from the intend "drop zone" - right into nearby barracks. It's alleged that this incident inspired the Scots poet Robert Burns to write: "The best laid schemes o' Mice an' Men, Gang aft agley, An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain" Actually, flaming vermin have caused a number of house fires. It's documented that one flaming snake actually was responsible for a house fire.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 9:01 p.m.

AND they cause cancer.


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 3:25 p.m.

Yeah TB, i don't smoke rodents anymore either. too gamy:)


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:19 p.m.

I'll disregard the fact that Robert Burns and the Army Air Corps were not concurrent, and simply smoke another and re-read this because it is impossibly funny...

Ann English

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:04 a.m.

Springtime: when the moles, if not the mice and rats, come out of hibernation. When the insects come back and the bats that eat them.


Fri, Apr 26, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

I used to be two-sheds, but one burned to the ground. Darn rodent bombs!

An Arborigine

Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 2:14 p.m.

Nice catch on Mr. Jackson!


Sat, Apr 27, 2013 : 12:09 p.m.

Terry Jones reference! Arthur "Two-Sheds"!