By: Chloe Leshner


WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WLNE) -- The Fourth of July ended on a scary note for several families in Woonsocket. Nine people are now left without somewhere to live after fireworks lit a house on fire.

The damage is mostly to the back side of the house. The Assistant Fire Marshal tells ABC 6 News the fire started hours after the Fourth of July celebration, after the fireworks were thrown away in a plastic garbage can.

A little Fourth of July fun ending in fire.

"You can never be safe enough," says Lieutenant John Polacek, the Assistant Fire Marshal and a Woonsocket firefighter.

The side of a 3 family home on pond street in Woonsocket melted away after an early morning fire caused by fireworks put off by the people who live there.

"After they were done they cleaned up their debris and they said they had soaked it down and thought they had done the right thing, packed them all up in a trash bag and put them in a trash can," says Polacek.

That plastic trash can was leaning up against the house, everything inside smoldering over the course of a few hours, eventually sending flames up the side of the house.

"I don't think any fire actually made it inside any of the apartments," says Polacek.

All of the people who were home made it out safely but the situation certainly could've been much worse. Fire officials say pulling off your own firework show is more complicated than it may seem.

"There's so many variables, between the skill level of the person using them, the area in which they're using them because a dry grassy area can easily ignite. How much has burned, the size of them, how much water you use to put them out," says Polacek.

Fire officials say the safest option is to let the experts handle the show.

"If you had to ask me, I would say leave it to the professionals, go enjoy the show, safely go home, and let them concern themselves with the proper disposal and clean up of the product," says Polacek.

It will be up to the building inspector to decide when the 9 tenants can return.

(C) WLNE/ABC 6 2018