A fire started by fireworks in Antioch damaged several homes on June 15, 2019.

Bob Butler/KCBS Radio

Fireworks Start Fire That Damaged Antioch Homes

Bob Butler
June 17, 2019 - 9:09 am

Illegal fireworks in Antioch ignited a fire that nearly destroyed a dozen homes, leading officials to remind residents that all fireworks are banned in Contra Costa County. 

Children playing with fireworks in a grassy field at Lipton Street and Trembath Lane started the fire on Saturday, according to neighbors.

The fire started right behind the home Brian Maloney shares with his wife, kids and in-laws.

“The fire came up the side of the house and firefighters had to go inside and bust a hole in the roof to make sure it didn’t go into the attic,” said Maloney.

PG&E cut the power to the neighborhood and it remained off through Sunday afternoon. 

The flames were contained to the field, some fences and some backyard furniture, although they did char the outside of part of Maloney’s home and the one next door.

Steven Hill of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District said he can’t emphasize enough that all fireworks are banned. Even the so-called safe and sane ones.

“If you ask the gentleman out in Antioch on July 5th last summer who blew most of both of his hands off with a “safe and sane firework” he’d probably say there’s no such thing as a safe and sane firework,” said Hill.

The fire department does annual training just before Independence Day to highlight the dangers of fireworks. During one training exercise a firefighter dropped one sparkler into tall, dry grass.

“Within less than 30 seconds the fire that was created by that one single sparkler was out of control to the point it could never have been contained by a homeowner with a garden hose,” said Hill.