‘Toilet-papered’ Alabama home burns down after family try to clear away mess with fire

Attempt to tidy up following prank from local children ends in disaster

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The Independent US

A family in Alabama burned their house to the ground after trying to get rid of toilet paper hanging from a tree by setting it on fire.

Cheryl Crausewell said local children had “rolled” (thrown toilet paper over) her house and garden on Saturday, and that while it had not been a major issue some remained stuck in a magnolia tree.

Speaking to local TV station WBRC, Ms Crausewell explained how she and her son went out to clean up the rest of the mess and, thinking it might burn away the last remnants of paper, decided to set it on fire with a lighter.

Unfortunately, wind blew the lit piece across the yard, spreading fire to nearby grass, then the back yard, and finally a tank of propane next to a barbecue.

“It just popped out into a little patch and we tried to put it out and it just kept going, so I was trying to keep it from going down the front porch and came down the bank and around the back of the house,” she said.

Reports suggested the fire spread in a matter of seconds, and had soon claimed the house itself in the small town of Dora, near Birmingham.

Ms Crausewell, her son, her elderly aunt, her mother and her aunt's caregiver were all at home when the fire started around 2pm, but WBRC reported that everyone was able to get out safely.

The family said they had home owner’s insurance, and planned to build a new home on the same plot of land.

“I just realise life is really precious,” Ms Crausewell said. “I mean, you know that already but it just brings it home how precious life is and all these things really don't matter.”