MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Fireworks are meant to be a fun part of Fourth of July celebrations, but they can be extremely destructive.
On average, the state of Minnesota blames fireworks for more than $5,700 in damage to homes and businesses each year.
That adds up to nearly $3.6 million in losses these past ten years.
After hearing fireworks pop off throughout the day near his home in the Phillips neighborhood of Minneapolis, Earl Simms was worried something like this would happen.
“It was like they were right on my window and it was like boom … I’m shaking from them,” Simms said.
Although investigators have not named an official cause yet, Simms is confident a firecracker lit up part of his neighbor’s duplex late Thursday afternoon.
“It’s the Fourth of July people have leftover fireworks, they want to get rid of them … setting them off and here they go,” Simms said. “Took somebody’s house away from them.”
It was a similar story in south Minneapolis early Thursday morning. Firefighters believe a firework could be to blame for damaging a home on the 3100 block of Portland Avenue and displacing a family of seven early Thursday morning.
Flying fireworks are an expensive and dangerous concern for first responders.
“We always have a few fires where we have firecrackers that land on roofs, on gutters, on porches,” said Deputy Minneapolis Fire Chief Kathleen Mullen. “It’s unfortunately rather common.”
According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, fireworks sparked 15 fires across the state on the Fourth of July of last year. Those blazes racked up more than $200,000 in damages.
Fireworks that fly or bang are illegal in Minnesota, but if you choose to break the law, fire officials urge people to make sure they are no putting anyone else’s property in danger.