Fireworks blamed for destructive neighborhood fire | News
GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Investigators say fireworks are the probable cause of a fire that burned down two garages and damaged several houses in southwest Grand Rapids Wednesday afternoon.
They say unsupervised children were setting off bottle rockets and a hot ember caught the buildings on fire.
"Believe one fell into some leaf mold or some dry trash and started the fire that way," explains Grand Rapids Fire Inspector Ric Dokter.
The fire destroyed two garages that sit back to back in the 700 blocks of Lynch and London Streets. It also scorched nearby houses.
Neighbors say the boys were between the ages of about ten through 12.
"The kids were playing with the fireworks -- we heard the fireworks," recalls neighbor Cholonni Madison. "The next thing you know we come outside and see flames,"
Bottle rockets were not legal in Michigan until the law changed this year permitting explosives that fly through the air. Investigators say it's likely careless users will set more buildings on fire this summer.
"I can fairly confidently predict we will have more fires like this," says Dokter.
Neighbors say it wasn't the first time the boys were exploding fireworks without any adult supervision.
When asked, the boys denied they were responsible for the fire.