PARKER, Colo. — Two families in Parker were left without homes early Tuesday morning, July 4, because South Metro Fire said legal fireworks were not disposed of properly.
Investigators determined the fireworks were left in a plastic bin outside one of the garages, and that's what caused the fire, according to South Metro Fire.
"It's really critical that folks give due regard in how they're discarding fireworks," South Metro Fire Rescue Marshal Anthony Valdez said during an early-morning news conference. "We believe that these were legal fireworks that you can buy at any of the fireworks tents around the state. And... they're referred to as safe and sane. However, as we can see here that safety is always about perspective and that we had an unfortunate tragedy... so they aren't necessarily as safe as folks might think that they are."
The blaze destroyed two homes near the intersection of Jordan Road and Clarke Farms Drive in Parker just after midnight. But firefighters were able to prevent it from spreading to three neighboring homes.
Fire Marshal Valdez advised others, "The best way is to get a bucket full of water and make sure that those fireworks are submersed completely in that bucket of water, and the longer you can keep it in there, the best before you safely discard that."
He went on to say, "And then it's further recommended that you wrap it with some of close confining material such as Saran Wrap or something that is similar to that so that then they can be more safely discarded appropriately in trash."
One firefighter was taken to the hospital with a minor burn injury. Firefighters remained there for several hours to extinguish hot spots.
A GoFundMe online fundraiser has been created to help one of the impacted families.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks started over 12,000 fires in 202, the most recent year on record, and caused some 29 injuries and about $60 million in property damage
Final Update: Fire Investigators determined that improper disposal of legal fireworks in a plastic bin outside the garage caused this fire. Both homes were destroyed and the families are displaced. Firefighters will remain on scene for several more hours extinguishing hot spots. pic.twitter.com/JR1zs1r1eJ— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) July 4, 2023