Boy playing with fireworks starts house fire in Phoenix


by Jennifer Thomas

Video report by Tanya Mendis

Posted on June 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 10:40 AM

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PHOENIX – A fire at a home in north Phoenix Wednesday afternoon appears to have been started by a child playing with fireworks.

The Phoenix Fire Department responded to a house near Sweetwater and 31st avenues at about 12:40 p.m.

Crews found an exterior fire up against the house that was spreading to the attic, according to Capt. Ruben Saavedra. Firefighters searched the home and extinguished the flames after cutting holes in the roof.

Most of the damage was to the drywall and insulation.

A mother, 19-year-old son and eight children ranging in age from 2 to 11 have been displaced. The Phoenix Fire Department Crisis Response Team is working with the Red Cross to assist the family, which could be out of the home for six months to a year.

Saavedra said a 10-year-old boy was playing with matches and fireworks and may have started some dry vegetation on fire, which spread to the house.

"We are very fortunate that no injuries occurred," Saavedra said.

The boy will be referred to the youth fire setter program.
"We're dealing with a lot of dry weather, dry vegetation," Saavedra said. "We're also dealing with the time of year when they're selling a lot of fireworks. The thing you have to really ... remember is you need to follow the rules and the laws when it comes to fireworks."