PLAINFIELD, Ind. — Authorities in Hendricks and Johnson counties say 4th of July fireworks accidents caused damage to two homes Sunday night.
Around 10:30 p.m., Plainfield fire crews responded to a fire on Parker Drive that resulted from improper disposal of fireworks, according to Chief Brent Anderson.
“Found to be some discarded fireworks on the back side of the house that had been put into a trash bin, improperly disposed of,” Anderson said. “And that trash bin happened to be up next to the house.”
Two adults and six children escaped without injury as the fire caused significant damage on the back and sides of the home. Anderson said the homeowner believed the fireworks were extinguished when they were put in the trash can, and the incident illustrates the importance of proper disposal.
“The worst thing you want to do is put them up next to a house, some type of structure, something that the fire can communicate to if there was a fire,” Anderson said. “Soak them in water, put them in a bucket or a tub. Let them sit for a day or two before trying to dispose of them in the trash.”
Anderson added that a child in Decatur Township sustained a minor injury after being hit in the head with a firework Sunday night.
In Johnson County, Bargersville firefighters responded to a home in the Saddle Club neighborhood after a fire started in an open garage. Deputy Chief Mike Pruitt said the homeowners were outside watching neighbors light off fireworks when one of them noticed the fire in their own garage across the street.
“A firework took off, went the wrong direction, ended up inside of a garage and started a fire,” said Pruitt.
Pruitt said the firework happened to land in a Christmas wreath decoration, which helped to start the garage fire.
“Neighbors jumped in, threw some water on it, got it under control. Then we came in and kind of finished up the job,” Pruitt said. “But, it could have been a very bad situation if somebody hadn’t noticed the fire burning in that garage.”
One neighbor was checked out for smoke inhalation, Pruitt noted.
Pruitt said the incident illustrates how quickly a dangerous accident can happen even when safety precautions are followed.
“With as many fireworks as were going off last night, it was just a matter of time,” he said.
Both Pruitt and Anderson agreed there seemed to be more neighborhood fireworks going off last night than residents may be used to on the 4th of July holiday.
Anderson pointed out that several neighbors down the street continued lighting off their fireworks as fire crews worked to put out last night’s fire.
“Not a scary situation for us, but the neighbors and those in the area were probably on edge for a little bit,” Anderson said. “We support that, if that’s what those choose to do that don’t want to go see fireworks professionally. But we recommend doing that in a less densely-populated area.”
“Even in my neighborhood, some of the mortars going off felt like they were like right on top of my house,” Pruitt said. “I think that every little event that comes along right now in 2021, we’re maxing it out.”
Anderson and Pruitt said they hope residents will keep both Sunday night incidents in mind because they do expect neighborhood fireworks to continue in the days and weeks to come.