updated 5/15/2006 2:48:55 PM ET 2006-05-15T18:48:55

A man taking a break from painting burned down his house after trying to snuff out a cigarette in a bowl of paint thinner.

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Stevie Spencer had put the bowl on his coffee table before taking a smoke break about 10 p.m. Saturday.

"I forgot paint thinner was in the bowl," Spencer said. "I thought it was water."

The fire from the paint thinner ignited some papers, Spencer said. He got his wife out of the house, then tried to extinguish the flames with a hose. Spencer suffered minor injuries.

Fire Chief Jay Flynn said the house was too far gone to save it when firefighters arrived.

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