Amateur fireworks cause damage across Western Washington

KING 5's LiLi Tan reports on the aftermath of the Fourth of July.

As the professionals brought down the house during the Fourth of July fireworks show at Lake Union, amateurs took out real ones.

“Ceiling are falling down. There’s water damage. We have nothing left in the main living part of the home that’s salvageable,” Karen Weeks said.

Her home in unincorporated King County will now have to be gutted. Fire investigators say her next door neighbor, whose home was also damaged, left used fireworks in a recycling bin.

Just a few blocks away in the same Fairwood neighborhood, there was another garage fire. King County Sheriff’s deputies are looking for who lit fireworks that landed on a roof and caused the garage to catch fire.

In Oakville, there was a structure fire, believed to be caused by fireworks, that took out a hardware store, liquor store and a small house.

And the list of fireworks fallout goes on:

  • In Federal Way, a homeowner put used fireworks in a plastic bag and his/her garage burned to the ground, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.
  • In Auburn, fire investigators believe fireworks may have played a part in a junkyard fire at 347th Place and Military Road.
  • In Woodinville, there was a small fire on a golf course due to fireworks.

Other agencies are still tallying their fireworks-related incidents, as they expect to be busy with complaints through the weekend.

There may be some good news for the city of Burien, which hired extra security to ticket people and confiscate fireworks. Burien police wrote 10 citations on July 4, which is potentially the most they have had. Each incident was investigated and each ticket takes about an hour to process, police say.

The cost savings may come in the little damage in Burien, however. A city spokesperson said the only fire damage was contained to a busy.

Unfortunately for Weeks, fireworks are legal where she lives.

“We’re in unincorporated King County and we can do nothing about this. And every year we’re worried,” Weeks said.

Concerned neighbors say next Fourth of July they plan on dousing their homes with water first so hopefully firefighters won’t have to. 

© 2017 KING-TV


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