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Exploding ‘Roach Bombs’ Wreck Historic Apartment

Six “roach bombs” caused an explosion that injured two people and wrecked the French Quarter apartment where Tennessee Williams wrote “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Flames from a water heater ignited the insecticide spray, firefighter Norman Woodridge said Tuesday.

Cheron Brylski, who had just rented the thirdfloor apartment, had set off the aerosol cans of insecticide in the 8-by-10 kitchen Sunday, Woodridge said. The recommended treatment is one can for a 20-by-30-foot room.

The blast blew out windows and the kitchen ceiling and buckled the apartment’s floor and walls. It also blew the front door of the three-story building onto a passer-by.

Brylski and the passer-by suffered cuts and bruises.

Williams lived in the apartment in 1946-47 while writing the play that won him the 1948 Pulitzer Prize for drama. He died in 1984.