Two Boise fires, three houses damaged, one cause: The improper disposal of fireworks

Two fires that damaged three houses in Southwest Boise last Friday were caused by improper disposal of fireworks, a spokesperson for the Boise Fire Department told the Idaho Statesman.

Boise fire crews responded to a large blaze at 5:46 a.m. Friday and found heavy fire coming from one house after already extending to a neighboring house in the 4500 block of Cochees Way, the department said on social media.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office evacuated nearby residents, and firefighters knocked down the fire before it spread to any additional structures. It did extensive damage to both houses, though.

The Boise Firefighters Local 149 Burnout Fund is supporting the displaced occupants, according to the social media post.

The two-house blaze was the second fire caused by improperly disposed fireworks that Boise Fire responded to the morning after the Fourth of July, the department said. Crews responded at 1:36 a.m. to a fire that was extending up the side of a house in the 5500 block of S Missoula Way, also in Southwest Boise.

There were no injuries reported at either incident, Boise Fire said.

Aerial fireworks are illegal in Idaho, but it’s a law that rarely is enforced, so each year the Treasure Valley is awash in dangerous, fire-starting devices.

Boise Fire urged people who light their own fireworks to learn how to dispose of them afterward.

“After you light them, wait until the fireworks are completely cooled then submerge them in water in a metal container overnight,” the department wrote in a social media post. “Then discard them in the trash. Do not put directly in your curbside garbage can.”

In both Southwest Boise fires, fireworks were placed directly in cans and not submerged in water, the Boise Fire Department said.

Boise Fire responded to 31 fires on July 4 and the early hours of July 5, Lynsey Amundson, communications manager for the department, told the Statesman last week.

That number included house fires, grass and brush fires, and even dumpster fires, Amundson said, and was still preliminary.

Last year, Boise Fire responded to 25 fireworks-caused fires. The city sent a message to residents prior to the holiday this year reminding them to celebrate safely and encouraging people to attend organized, legal fireworks shows instead of setting off their own.

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