Fireworks are being blamed for a Fourth of July duplex fire that caused its residents to evacuate.
The Lee's Summit Fire Department was called to Northeast Banner Drive and Northeast Swann Road about 9:45 p.m. Friday after the caller said that fireworks hit the side of the duplex.
The fire department said people who live in Unit B were lighting off fireworks when at least one went astray and ignited mattresses and upholstered furniture under the deck, starting a fire.
"You just don't do things like that," said Michael Wells, a neighbor.
Wells lives next door and said he called 911 when he saw the fire.
Firefighters showed up to find fire pouring out of the back of the split-level building. Most of it did damage to the deck, back and attic of Unit B.
Crews were able to control the blaze as it was spreading into the attic and the inside of the house and it was under control by 10:26 p.m.
Wells said his neighborhood lights off fireworks every Fourth of July, but he's never seen anything like what happened Friday night.
"We've been in this neighborhood almost four years and when you got family and kids and we do this every year, that's very scary," he said.
It was especially scary for the eight kids living inside his home.
"We got the kids out the house and we didn't want to see something like this happen. It's just being mindful of what you do," Wells said.
Most of the duplex suffered smoke damage.
Luckily the 10 people who live in the duplex got out safely. The Red Cross is helping them in whatever way they can.
Wells said the people living in the duplex weren't intentionally trying to cause damage, but it was a horrible reminder about how dangerous fireworks can be.
"It was all in good fun," he said. "But it's ridiculous and irresponsible, simple as that."
From July 2 to July 4, people who live in Lee's Summit were allowed to use certain types of fireworks with a permit. Starting Saturday, though, all those fireworks are illegal.
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