Homes in Sterling Heights, Lake Orion catch fire after fireworks disposals

- The fireworks were launched but that doesn't mean the flames went out.

It is a lesson a couple of metro Detroit families learned the hard way when their homes caught fire.

In Sterling Heights firefighters battled a house fire just before 2 a.m. Wednesday morning.

"We see all the flames going through the garage and all the house," said

By daylight the damage can be clearly seen as can the scorched siding next door - right outside of a teenager's bedroom.

FOX 2: "Did you feel it getting hot in that room?" 

"Yeah, I saw the fire behind me and then my mom came into the room and after a little while, the window cracked," he said.

The cause of the fire? Improperly discarded fireworks.

"In conversations with the homeowners we found out that they stored fireworks from the evening next to their home in garbage cans and did not extinguish them appropriately," said Battalion Chief Tim Bade, Sterling Heights fire.

And they then re-ignited.  The flames traveled up the wall, into the attic and then, the house.

It was the same story in Lake Orion where a home also caught fire after the homeowners put used fireworks in the trash.

"The fireworks that caused this weren't anything big or expensive," said Frank Scarpaci, a neighbor. "They were just being sanitary and cleaning up their mess and stuff like that. Before you know it something crazy happens.

The house fires come as residents call for a repeal of the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act which legalized the use of consumer fireworks.

Nearly 30,000 people signed the petition by Wednesday night calling on state legislators to scrap the law.

FOX 2: "What is the proper way to dispose of used fireworks?"

"When you're done with your used fireworks you should take a bucket of water, put them in a bucket of water and let them soak in that bucket of water to make sure that all the embers are out," Bade said. "Then after that, you can drain the water and put them in a metal container, is the best container to put them in and then store them away from the house."

Thankfully no one was hurt in any of those fires. While you can only legally use fireworks the day of the day before and the day after a national holiday first responders are anticipating people to use them throughout the weekend.
 

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