The Fourth of July may have passed, but the threat fireworks pose has not. And no one knows that better than the Auburn Police Department, who lost a squad car in a fireworks explosion.
It may be a cliché, but it looked and sounded like a war zone Wednesday night on the Muckleshoot Reservation. Auburn police said the tribe called them to help clear out the crowd on the reservation’s legal fireworks discharge area.
Just before 11:30 p.m., with fireworks falling everywhere, an officer in an unmarked Auburn Police Department squad car parked over an apparent hot spot. Within minutes, the car was toast.
Commanders say its proof of the power of fireworks. The car is a total loss.
“I am surprised…Things do get hot. It’s a discharge area, so we have to keep that in mind when we discuss it for future deployments,” said Commander Mike Hirman, Auburn Police Department.
Most of the other fireworks-caused fires were relatively minor. In Puyallup, fire investigators said trees caught fire after someone threw fireworks into a backyard fire pit. And in Kent, fireworks landed on the roof of a house, sparking a fire.
“This one kid that lives here said he saw kids shooting fireworks this morning, and I told them they needed to quit,” said John Crowder, Kent resident. “The next thing you knew the house was on fire.”
Fire crews in Tacoma put out a brush fire behind a middle school on Thursday; fireworks are a possible cause. The still-green grass helped keep it small, but with a dry forecast ahead, firefighters can’t expect much more help from Mother Nature this summer.
Tuesday night in Puyallup, a 23-year-old man had a mortar blow up in his face. He being treated at Harborview Medical Center and has lost vision in one eye. His sister said doctors said her brother’s lucky because he easily could have been killed.
Reported by KING 5's Drew Mikkelsen and compiled by Liza Javier.