May 9, 2012 2:08 PM
TUCSON - Tucson Fire responded to a south side building this morning after the building representative attempted to use flaming cow manure to smoke out a swarm of bees that were inside, resulting in a fire.
The incident occurred at about 8:30 a.m. this morning in a dilapidated building used for storage behind a boarded-up motel in the 2600 block of E. Benson Highway, near Irvington Road. Fire companies extinguished the flame, only to be swarmed by bees once the smoke began to dissipate, according to a TFD news release. Crews switched to foam, and extinguished smoldering spots and eliminated the swarming bees. No injuries were reported, and no residents were displaced.
Fire investigators learned from interviews that the property representative and some other men discussed how to remove the bees from the building. According to the TFD release, the men gathered up a large pile of cow manure and set it on fire. Once smoldering, they shoveled it into the building last night in an attempt to smoke out the bees.
The property rep looked inside the building this morning and saw it was filled with smoke. The problem occurred this morning, when high winds blew through the area, fanning and blowing smoldering ashes around the building, creating a heat source and resulting in a fire, TFD officials state. The fire caused an estimated $5,000 in damage.
Tucson Fire officials have two safety tips: NEVER leave a fire unattended and leave bee removal to the experts.