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Iowa City man ignites bed trying to “burn bugs” with spray can and lighter

IOWA CITY, Iowa (KWWL) - Iowa City Police jailed a 51-year-old man last Saturday for creating a makeshift flamethrower out of an aerosol spray can and lighter, as well as disabling smoke detectors in his home.

Responding officers say Flavio Martinez told them he was trying to "burn bugs" in his room when he set fire to his mattress. Incident logs from ICPD say the fire was extinguished but caused a great deal of smoke and concern throughout Martinez's building.

During an investigation, fire officials also found Martinez had deactivated several smoke alarms throughout his living area because they were, "loud and annoying."

Court records confirm Martinez was charged with Tampering With a Smoke Detector, as well as Reckless Use of Fire or Explosives.

Travis Breese

Reporter, Iowa City

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