Fireworks a Likely Culprit in Shelby Township Home Fire
Officials are still investigating the cause of a fire in Shelby Township that destroyed most of a residential home and left a family out in the cold in the early hours of Tuesday morning.
Fire Chief Jim Swinkowski said the flames may have been caused by fireworks being set off in the neighborhood for Independence Day celebrations.
“No one was using a grill. Nothing was in use last night, no smoking. So, the obvious ignition sources are obviously not in play at the moment,” he said. “The only thing we do know for sure is there were fireworks going off in the area, which would have been in line with the wind direction we had overnight.”
Fireworks were being launched upwind of the residence between midnight and 1 a.m. The family noticed flames spreading from the back wooden deck around 5 a.m., which then began to take over other parts of the house.
“My dad woke up to a crash out the back, I think the window came through,” said resident Ewelina Saputo. “Got my mom out, they managed to get our cars out, but that’s about it.”
Chief Swinkowski said it’s unfortunately not a surprise. “We’ve had it in years past where fireworks have burned down houses and garages,” he told Fox News 2. “Leave it to the professionals… That is where it belongs, not in densely populated areas, where you know when you set something off it is coming down on someone’s property, someone’s house and this is what happens.”
The fire department has not ruled out other potential causes for the fire, though. Chief Swinkowski says they’re looking into a possible electrical fire near the family’s hot tub in the backyard. Electrical fires or malfunctions caused an estimated 53,600 home fires in 2008, accounting for some $1.4 billion in property damage, 1,400 injuries, and 500 deaths.
Luckily, no one was harmed at the Saputo residence.
“The blessing is that my parents are alive and I guess the rest is just materialistic stuff. Memories are in our head,” Ewelina said.