PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Fireworks kept Lake Oswego firefighters busy on Monday night.
Around 10:30 p.m., firefighters responded to battle about about 100′ of arborvitae that had caught fire along the fence between a house on Lowenberg Terrace and the Palisades School. Investigators say the fire was caused by illegal fireworks being set off in the field of the Palisades School.
Lake Oswego resident Ray Edwards, helped contain the flames with his garden hose until firefighters arrived. The flames were doused before the fire could spread to the house, but Lake Oswego firefighters were far from done working.
A family of three escaped a house fire on Cherry Crest Drive a short time later. Fire alarms woke them up and they found their garage full of smoke. The fire was spreading to the rest of the house but firefighters managed to contain it before major damage was caused.
Investigators quickly determined the area of the fire that was located outside of the house on the back side of the garage and confirmed with the homeowner that he had placed spent fireworks in a plastic bucket next to the house. Damage estimates for the house, contents and a car in the garage are around $175,000. The family is staying in a local hotel.
Another fire, likely caused by fireworks that landed alongside a house in bark dust, caused $10,000 of damage to the siding of a home on Village Drive a little before 1 a.m. A neighbor noticed the flames and put them out with a fire extinguisher.
“One of the three fires last night was caused by legal fireworks that weren’t disposed of properly,” said Lake Oswego Assistant Fire Chief David Morris. “It’s important to keep in mind that the legal ones also have the potential of burning your house down.”
The best way to dispose of previously-ignited fireworks is to place them in a metal container, or in a plastic container filled with water. It’s also important to keep any used fireworks away from your home.