Fire officials: Fireworks likely to blame for damaged homes

LAKE STEVENS, Wash. – Fireworks may be to blame for $1 million in damages to several homes in Snohomish County.

Lake Stevens was not the only place where homes were damaged across Western Washington during the July Fourth holiday.

“Be careful with your fireworks,” warned William Parker. “Make sure your fireworks are out but they’re not. It might be a half-hour when you throw them away but they’re still warm.”

Parker says spent fireworks from his neighborhood’s celebration were carefully collected and doused in water late Monday night, but shortly after cleanup he noticed a problem from his window.

“Walked over the window and saw glowing,” he said before calling 911.

Parker says the fire may have started in a garbage bin, where he threw out spent fireworks that hadn’t burned out entirely.

Two homes in his neighborhood were tagged as being unsafe to live in. Fire officials say five homes in total were damaged and so far the price tag is around $1 million.

A home in Tacoma’s Hilltop neighborhood was gutted the day before the Fourth of July. Firefighters in Pierce County say the fire was also likely to blame on fireworks.

"When you have a fire or you cause a fire in a home, you’re not just causing property damage, you’re destroying people’s lives,” said Capt. Kyle Ohashi with Puget Sound Fire. “You’re destroying things in a home that are invaluable to that family.”

Neighbors in Bothell say a homeowner there sprang quickly into action Monday evening after they noticed a small fire and say a garden hose may have likely saved the house.

Neighbors say what happened across the street could have them rethinking next year’s Fourth of July.

“My husband likes the fireworks, me not so much,” said neighbor Susan Carr. “Maybe this will change his mind.”