Rash of fires in Green Bay sparked by improperly disposed fireworks

Local News

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) If you’re going to use fireworks, you must use them safely. So says the Green Bay Metro Fire Department, sent out last night to multiple fire calls that could have ended tragically.

At two addresses in Green Bay – melted siding, a burned-out garage – the result of a night of fireworks which according to firefighters were disposed of improperly.

“Leave it to the professionals. Fireworks are fun and great to play with. But they are dangerous and last night proves that example,” said Battalion Chief Eric Jeltema.

Overnight firefighters responded to two fires, one at a duplex on Hazel Street.

“I believe the fireworks were in the garbage on that one,” said Jeltema.

The other, a home on Smith Street that David Dollhopf lives next to.

“I saw the fire trucks and I went over to my bathroom, because I know the garage is over there and I saw flames coming out of the garage,” said Dollhopf.

Where the evidence of what happened clearly pointed to the cause; fireworks disposed improperly on the 4th of July.

“I’m sure you can talk to any of the people last night from that fire and they probably thought their fireworks were completely out,” Jeltema said.

Fire officials say the damage caused between both fires was in the neighborhood of $100,000. But Battalion Chief Jeltema says both could have been prevented.

“If you’re going to do fireworks, soak them in water, douse them completely with a hose, make sure they are completely out and soaked before you dispose of them,” said Jeltema.

It’s information firefighters share each year and Jeltema wishes more people would listen.

“Every 4th of July we run the same message and the same situations happen,” said Jeltema.

Because while no one was hurt in these two fires, the next time things could end tragically.

The fire department says they also responded to four dumpster fires caused by fireworks. Seven people lived in the duplex on Hazel Street, which sustained significant damage.

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