A West Bloomfield family learned a dangerous lesson after their home caught fire when they tossed used fireworks into the trash.
"At some point later they heard a pop and a crackle," said Byron Turnquist, West Bloomfield Fire Marshall, of what turned out to be one last bang for the homeowners that live in a home -- not quite the kind you want to hear on the 4th of July.
Fire authorities say it happened at around 2 a.m. after a night of celebration.
The homeowners took the fireworks and put them in a garbage can up against the house. That’s when they heard that sound and went to investigate. They found a fire in the backyard garbage that had spread to the home’s siding.
With fire extinguishers on hand, the family went to work battling the flames. They were able to successfully put out the fire on the side of the house, but they were unaware flames had already spread to the attic.
That’s when they called 911. Thankfully, no one was hurt.
As for the damage, fire authorities say it’s enough to keep the family out of this home for a couple of months.
Turnquist says it’s a reminder to be thinking about safety, not only during fireworks, but also after.
"Soak them in water or leave out away from anything combustible for a period of time," he said.
It’s best to keep them soaking overnight and, always, he says, call 911 first before attempting to take out the flames.
"Time is of the essence," Turnquist said. "With the way homes are built today and products inside our homes, fires will grow and spread rapidly."
Fire officials also want to remind people about the importance of fire alarms, which should be tested monthly.