July 4 fires injure three in Denver, including 2-year-old
Denver firefighters responded to 29 fires on the Fourth of July while paramedics took a 2-year-old boy and two adults to hospitals for burn treatments.
One adult was arrested in connection with one of the burn incidents, said Gregory Pixley, spokesman for the Denver Fire Department.
Tuesday’s fire tally could increase because 20 emergency response reports have not been completed, he said. Even if the number doesn’t increase, 29 is still a lot, Pixley said.
In 2016, firefighters responded to 35 fires on Independence Day. That number was more than double the fires reported on July 4, 2015.
A variety of factors — not just illegal fireworks activity — could affect the number of fires reported each year on the holiday, Pixley said. Hot, dry weather conditions also could be a major contributing factor. Whatever the reason, responding to 29 fires in a single day taxes the fire department’s resources and could limit its ability to respond to other emergencies such as heart attacks or car accidents.
A toddler and an adult were injured in a small fire reported at 9:03 p.m. Tuesday at a home on the 4500 block of Clayton Street. The names and conditions of the pair have not been released. Denver police arrested one person in connection to the injuries and are investigating whether the burns were caused by fireworks, he said.
In another incident at 7:30 p.m, the exterior of a house on the 2600 block of Yale Avenue caught on fire, Pixley said.
Investigators are working to determine if fireworks caused the blaze.
Pixley reiterated the danger of novices using fireworks.”Essentially those things are explosives,” he said.
Mistakes by well-meaning holiday revelers easily can lead to serious injuries, deaths or home destruction.
Firefighters in other Denver metro cities responded to numerous grass, house and trash fires — many of which officials believe were triggered by illegal fireworks.
North Metro Fire Rescue District firefighters extinguished a house fire early Tuesday morning on the 12000 block of Ivy Court in unincorporated Adams County, said Sara Farris, fire department spokeswoman. Neighbors said three people were inside the two-story home when the fire broke out and helped them evacuate safely, she said.
Investigators have determined that the fire was accidental and believe the most likely cause was the improper disposal of fireworks in a trash can outside the home.
On Tuesday night, North Metro crews responded to two brush fires in Northglenn. The first happened on Claude Court at 8:10 p.m. Neighbors were able to extinguish the fire before fire crews arrived, Farris said.
The second broke out at 8:45 p.m. on Community Center Drive just north of Malley Drive. Several bushes were engulfed in flames and started to burn a car and trash bin, she said. Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire and found remnants of fireworks in the bushes.
Farris said people should be careful when discarding sparklers and other smoking materials by first thoroughly extinguishing them with water before placing the items in a metal garbage can.
Firework-caused fires don’t only happen on July 4, officials say. They often happen in days leading up to and following the holiday.
A child ignited a fire with fireworks near a creek in Greenwood Village just before noon Wednesday. The fire climbed a steep hill, threatened three homes and forced a temporary evacuation, said South Metro Fire Authority spokesman Eric Hurst.
Firefighters were able to contain the roughly halfacre fire before it reached the homes, but it did damage the backyard fence of one of the homes.
Hurst said firefighters also extinguished two large grass fires on July 4 that investigators believe were started by fireworks.