HOUSTON – People across the Houston area enjoyed the Fourth of July tradition of grilling and popping off fireworks, but for a few families, the celebrations turned into nightmares.
At least four fires were caused by fireworks across Houston, two that left people with severe burns.
Kodes Clay house fire
Fireworks that were not properly extinguished caused a large fire Wednesday at a home in northwest Harris County.
The fire was reported about 11:50 p.m. at a home in the 6500 block of Kodes Clay Court near Klein.
Marion Dubose, who lives next door, said the flames were sky high and he came outside when his blinds started to melt.
"That's when I opened the shades and I saw a huge flame, like a dragon came on top of the windows," Dubose said. "It was insane."
According to the Harris County Fire Marshal’s Office, the blaze started in the garage when the homeowner placed used fireworks in a trash can on top of cardboard materials. The fireworks reignited and started a blaze that spread from the garage to the home.
“Used fireworks should be soaked in water and placed in a location far away from your home, such as the curb of the street,” said Harris County Fire Marshal Laurie Christensen. “By doing this, reignition of the fireworks is greatly reduced.”
No one was hurt in the fire.
Yaupon Trail house fire
On the east side of Harris County, firefighters responded to another house fire caused by fireworks.
According to authorities, the fire broke out early Friday morning at a two-story home on Yaupon Trail and Misty Morning Drive.
The fire started in the garage and was sparked by fireworks that had not been properly extinguished, firefighters said.
Firefighters said the homeowner had shot off fireworks earlier Thursday night, cleaned them up and put them in the trash can inside the garage.
"(We) recommend they use copious amounts of water when they put them out,” said Battalion Chief Ron Fovargue, with Atascocita Fire Department. “Fill up trash can really well with water. Make sure it's absolutely out. Leave (the trash can) outside. Don't put it back inside your garage."
Authorities said two cats were rescued from the home and no one was injured.
Lexington Park man burned
In north Houston, a man had to be rushed to a hospital after he was severely burned in a firework incident.
Authorities said the incident happened around 11:10 p.m. Thursday at a home on Lexington Park Drive and Chapel Ridge Lane.
When emergency responders arrived, they found a man who had severe burns to his face. It is unclear exactly how he suffered the burns, but authorities said they were caused by fireworks.
The burns were so severe that the man had to be taken via Life Flight to a burn center. His condition is unknown.
The final incident happened Thursday evening in northwest Houston.
A family was severely burned when an argument between two drivers ended in a shooting, according to authorities.
One of the drivers tried to leave the scene, but the other pulled out a gun and started shooting at the first driver’s vehicle, which caused the fireworks in the back of the vehicle to ignite, law enforcement officials said.
The family was trapped inside and had to be rescued by a good Samaritan, authorities said.
All four are being treated for severe burns.
What to know:
Fireworks are illegal in Houston and in the limited purpose annexation areas in Harris County. They are legal to use in unincorporated areas of Harris County.
Fines for illegal use of fireworks can range between $500 and $2,000 for each firework.