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Fourth of July fireworks use kept fire departments busy

DENVER -- The Fourth of July holiday kept fire departments across the metro in near constant demand.

“Most of that was related to careless behavior,” said Eric Hunter, spokesman for South Metro Fire Rescue Authority. “I think it's frustrating for the fire department."

Frustration mounted at noon Wednesday when a call came in about a boy who said the fireworks he was playing with in the open space off Orchard Road near South Broadway caused a grass fire.

“This child chose to do the right thing. Rather than run away and risk this fire growing out of control and undetected, they called 911, they gave great instructions to get the firefighters here, and his honesty may have made the fire, the outcome today a lot better,” Hunter said.

When firefighters arrived, flames were moving west toward the back of one home.

“There’s a creek bed, a lot of green vegetation so it does look kind of innocent down there, but it speaks to the conditions that even in green grass, a problematic fire can still happen,” Hunter said.

South Metro said firefighters responded to close to 40 fires on Monday and Tuesday.

Most, Hunter said, were caused by careless behavior with fireworks.

“A child playing with fireworks alone is especially problematic and with the fire conditions that we have right now, we encourage people to just not use fireworks at all,” Hunter said.

Other metro cities and counties have been dealing with the same issue.

In Northglenn, discarded fireworks started a fire that damaged a home and displaced three people, and a brush fire damaged a car.

“This is a great lesson that even though the behavior may seen innocent, anything that is hot that can cause a spark or that has an open flame can absolutely cause a wild land or a structure fire,” Hunter said.

South Metro Fire is asking everyone to be careful through the end of the week until the metro area gets some much-needed moisture.

No one was injured in Wednesday’s fire. The boy responsible could be facing charges, but the incident is still under investigation.