MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota State Fire Marshal’s office says fireworks were the cause of a family’s house fire last weekend in Forest Lake.

Investigators say children had been playing with legal fireworks earlier in the day, and threw some spent ones into a plastic recycling bin near their garage. Hours later, a neighbor saw the garage engulfed in flames and alerted the sleeping family. No one was hurt, and damage was contained to the garage and attic.

(credit: Minn. State Fire Marshal’s Office)

The fire marshal’s office says fireworks should be soaked in water overnight before they’re thrown away. They also warn that children and animals shouldn’t be in the vicinity of where fireworks are being set off due to the possibility of stepping on hot, spent fireworks. Children also shouldn’t use sparklers due to the potential for serious burns.

The use of long lighters is also recommended for igniting fireworks, and consumers are urged to never re-light “duds.” Also, if the firework explodes or flies, then it’s likely illegal in the state.

Fireworks caused $1 million in damage last year in Minnesota, according to the fire marshal’s office. Click here for more tips and facts.