Newlyweds lose home and dog after kids start fire with fireworks

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Kids playing with fireworks killed a young Scottsdale couple's dog and destroyed their home.

Newlyweds Elizabeth and Jason Halverson say the fire was started by two kids, ages 8 and 11 years old, who were playing with fireworks.

A pile was all that could be salvaged from the fire. The flames ripped through the roof, destroying everything inside the home.

The couple says their belongings can be replaced but they are heartbroken over the loss of their dog. Elizabeth says, “She was our Valentine’s Day present to each other."

They rescued 3-year-old Haley from an abusive home and turned her into a real member of the family. Elizabeth says, “We lost our dog that we love very much." Jason adds, “It was our family."

Haley was inside, asleep on the couch when the fire broke out; she died from smoke inhalation.

Investigators say kids next door were playing with fireworks, which ignited the bushes and the flames spread to two homes.

Fireworks are illegal in Arizona but not for long. Gov. Jan Brewer signed a bill that legalizes some fireworks at the end of the year.  In addition to Scottsdale, the cities of Flagstaff, Phoenix, and Mesa are also considering new ordinances to keep fireworks illegal.

Already fire marshals are pointing to this fire as proof that fireworks should remain illegal and several cities are looking at ordinances to keep them banned.

The tenants and homeowner hope their losses will serve as evidence in those efforts and at the very least serve as a warning to parents.

Elizabeth says, “She's gone and now we have to go on without her because kids thought it'd be fun."