July 4, 2013 in City

Illegal firework starts small house fire

By The Spokesman-Review
 
Dan Pelle photoBuy this photo

Spokane firefighters view the damage to a home at the corner of Broadway Avenue and Chestnut Street in Spokane on Wednesday. The blaze started in the bush at right and climbed to the home’s roof.
(Full-size photo)

An ill-aimed Roman candle is to blame for a small fire at a nearby house on Wednesday afternoon, authorities say. No one was injured.

About 4 p.m., a group was shooting fireworks at Dutch Jake’s Park at Broadway Avenue and Chestnut Street, said Lisa Jones, Spokane’s fire marshal. The group shot a Roman candle toward a house across the street, which hit a bush in the front yard, according to a neighbor who reported the fire.

The bush was engulfed in flames, which spread to the front porch and into the house, Jones said.

A good Samaritan driving by pulled over, grabbed a garden hose and tried to stop the blaze before crews arrived, on-scene firefighters said.

Firefighters were able to put the flames out before it spread further, Jones said.

The homeowner didn’t appear to be home.

The group in the park had left the area by the time police arrived.

Fireworks, even sparklers, are illegal in most of Spokane County. Jones compared fireworks safety to caution when cooking bacon.

The flying grease can be dangerous, but it’s still not going to reach the 1,200 degrees a sparkler can, she said.

“It’s our cultural practice that that’s something kids can play with,” Jones said. “They’re little blowtorches.”

Fireworks fines in the city of Spokane start at $513.

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