May 5 (UPI) -- A man trying to scare opossums away from his yard accidentally set fire to his house, causing $50,000 worth of damage, investigators said.
Lancaster City Assistant Fire Marshal Lt. Carl Everhart said the man, who lived in the rental home with a woman and a child, started a backyard blaze with leaves and charcoal lighter fluid shortly before 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in an attempt to drive away the opossums living around his home.
"His intention was to use the smoke from the burning leaves to hopefully scare away the opossum," Everhart told LancasterOnline. "Unfortunately for him the exterior of the residence was made of wood, and the fire got out of control and spread to the residence."
Everhart said the flames caused $50,000 worth of damage to the home, which was condemned.
Lancaster City Fire Capt. Jason Greer said one firefighter was hospitalized with a minor shoulder injury incurred while fighting the blaze. No other injuries were reported.
Everhart said the fire was ruled accidental.