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Fireworks blamed for Racine house fire

Improper use of fireworks spark fire
Posted at 7:22 AM, Jul 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-05 19:45:32-04

RACINE - A mother and her small children are now homeless after fireworks started their duplex on fire.  It happened in Racine on the 4th of July.

It's hard to believe, but firefighters say someone was lighting fireworks right inside the back door of a home near 16th and Packard. The result, they say, would've been difficult to escape from.

“And just nobody would’ve been able to make it out of there," said Lt. Scott Sorce, Racine Fire Department.

It's fortunate a mom and her small children were out when their home caught fire, but returning wasn't easy. They're now homeless.

"Yeah they lost everything to someone playing fireworks. She said that it hadn’t hit her yet, it just hasn’t really hit her yet," said JoAnn Reed, neighbor.

While Wisconsin permits the sale of fireworks, municipalities can set their own rules on lighting them. In Racine, only sparklers and pop-its are allowed.

“Because we have such a densely packed population here that the likelihood of hurting somebody or hurting somebody’s property goes up extremely," said Lt. Sorce.

Domingo Nevarez is concerned when he sees people lighting their own.

‘Kids will be kids. Yeah, I’ve seen them here and there over the years," said Nevarez.

When it comes to the 4th of July, Lt. Sorce says leave the fireworks to the professionals.

“And literally last night while I was trying to investigate that fire, on the same block, people were still lighting off fireworks even though I was there investigating a fire and the police had to go down and give them a citation as well," said Lt. Sorce.

A neighbor three doors down is now collecting clothing for the children left homeless.  It's a 2-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. Donations can be dropped off on the front porch at 1544 Packard Avenue by Wednesday.