Berkley official wants to take another look at fireworks laws after garage fire

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The Fourth of July on Wakefield Street in Berkley started with the traditional bang of fireworks and ended with a garage engulfed in flames.
Hayden Szuber lives across the street and recorded her neighbor's garage on fire.

"We turn around and see this bright light coming from our window and then I woke my mom up and my sister because the garage was on fire," Szuber said.

As firefighters worked to contain the flames, the close proximity of the houses in the Berkley neighborhood worked against them. Two other properties also suffered damage. 

"We came down when it was already like really big and then it was gone in like, 10 minutes," Szuber said.

The family was home at the time and luckily everyone got out safely including a few kids. 

"They all had to be taken to a neighbor's house down the street so they can go back to sleep," Szuber said. "They were very shaken up."

While the bulk of the damage was contained to the garage, it did effect the people living at the house on Wakefield. According to neighbors, they are now staying with other relatives.

The fire happened just after midnight on July 5th.  Neighbors say they have a pretty good idea what caused it. 

"I remember hearing fireworks like 10 minutes prior, that's probably what sparked it up," Szuber said.

The fire marshal is still working to find an exact cause. But Berkley City Councilman Dennis Hennen says this is a good time to re-evaluate private firework displays in neighborhoods where houses are built so close together.

He says state fireworks laws make it hard on cities like Berkley. 

"It seems like we are powerless to help," said Hennen. "I'm trying to see what things we can do if there are any options that we have. But the state has really made it difficult for us to protect our own residents."

He says he plans to meet with the city attorney, the city manager and director of public safety to find a possible solution.