Newark investigating fire started by unattended fireworks

Newark

NEWARK, Ohio (WCMH) – The Newark Division of Fire is investigating a dangerous situation from over the weekend when fireworks left on the ground next to a building somehow went off, starting a fire nearby.

When the fireworks were lit, they started a fire in a nearby dumpster.

Before firefighters arrived at the scene Saturday night, there were some big fireworks going off in all directions.

“It’s a very dangerous situation, not only for the people in the community on a state route in our town, but also for the firefighters to respond,” said Newark Division of Fire Chief Patrick Connor.

A person driving by at approximately 9:15 p.m. stopped and shot video of the fire.

The fireworks were going off for about 10 minutes when firefighters worked to extinguish the blaze.

Connor said what made the fire more dangerous was the unpredictability of the fireworks.

“We know people in the community have fireworks,” Connor said. “Some are confused whether they’re safe, they’re not safe. They’re legal, they’re not legal. The fact of the matter is fireworks are not legal right now and they are very, very dangerous.”

At this point, investigators are trying to determine if the fire was set accidentally or intentionally.

Connor wants to remind people that with Fourth of July weekend approaching, setting off your own fireworks is illegal.

“In this case, we didn’t have a permit, we had no knowledge of any fireworks being in the city. We had improper storage and obviously they were in an area where somebody could accidentally or intentionally light those.”

Officials are trying to determine who the fireworks belonged to.

Connor said it’s fortunate no one was injured Saturday night.

“Just think about the level of danger for the firefighters and the people in the community when they have to go and fix a situation like that,” he said. “It’s very scary to think about the danger involved. Firefighters come to work every day knowing there’s risk involved in the job, but something like this is just senseless at this point.”

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