Fireworks may have sparked 2-alarm blaze

July 1, 2008 9:05:44 PM PDT
Investigators want to know if this is the area's first big blaze sparked by fireworks as we approach the July 4th holiday. The flames were intense and they moved fast. They quickly spread to 4 homes in Chester. Neighbors were worried they'd continue to jump down the whole block.

2 families got out safely. Two of the homes on the 220 block 22nd Street were vacant. Right now, crews are still putting out hot-spots. In all, 8 people are displaced at this time.

At this point, investigators do not know the exact cause of the fire. But, officials say while battling it they heard a slew of fireworks exploding. They don't know for sure if the fireworks were the source of the fire or if they went off as a result of it.

Most of the heavy fire and smoke crews encountered were in the back of one of the homes.

Chester Fire Chief John Powers tells Action News, "If it was fire works then it's not good. I mean, we don't want to see it. Children were playing in the rear of the building. Probably nobody was watching what was going on. If they get scared and leave, obviously this is what happens? could happen."

This kind of dangerous and potentially deadly situation is exactly what fire officials warn against, especially around the July 4th holiday - when people get their hands on fireworks.

Chief Powers says one firefighter suffered a minor leg injury at the scene, but should be OK.

Officials say while it is unfortunate that homes were damaged, everyone is very lucky that no one was seriously hurt.