By BOB OLIVER
DEARBORN – Fireworks are reported to be the cause of two property fires that occurred in the city over the Fourth of July weekend.
The first fire occurred in the 1900 block of Raymond just before midnight July 5 when rescue crews were notified of a 2-story garage in flames.
Fire chief Joe Murray said that crews arrived and extinguished the blaze but the garage, which was detached, sustained significant damage.
“The roof of the garage collapsed and destroyed a vintage motorcycle and an SUV that were parked there,” Murray said. “The damage to the property is estimated to be at least $65,000.”
He added that preliminary investigation conducted by Fire Marshal Laura Ridenour indicates that fireworks were being discharged in the area and that the fire was not caused by anything electrical.
The second fire took place in the 5700 block of Calhoun at 11:30 p.m. July 4.
Murray said that fire is still under investigation but fire officials believe a lit firework landed inside the gutter of the house and slowly burned through to the roof.
“The fire was contained to a portion of the roof and we were able to put it out quickly,” Murray said. “Luckily, it didn’t pass into the house.”
No injuries were reported in either incident, but Murray stressed that these fires are proof of the damage that fireworks can cause.
“They’re definitely dangerous and its something we are very vigilant and serious about,” Murray said. “We get calls of injuries and medical emergencies and fires related to them every year. It’s definitely a concern of ours.”
Murray said the department received 35 calls for emergencies on the holiday with 4 of those calls being fires and the rest were other emergency situations. The call number is up from 30 last year.
“Our actual run volume was typical for the holiday, but we did have a couple more fire calls,” Murray said. “We typically get a spike on a holiday because there are lots of people out celebrating and some either get too carried away or can get injured playing sports or from the heat.”
(Bob Oliver can be reached at [email protected].)