HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. – Improperly discarded fireworks lit a home garage on fire late Sunday night in Highlands Ranch, officials with South Metro Fire Rescue said in a news release Monday.
Both the smell of smoke as well as smoke alarms which started going off alerted homeowners something had caught fire inside their home on Kittiwake Street at around 10:40 p.m. Sunday. When they went to check, they discovered a plastic trash bin was in flames and that the fire was rapidly spreading, fire official said.
The residents evacuated and called 911, telling first responders their cat was nowhere to be found.
Update: Firefighters quickly extinguished a fully engulfed garage and prevented flames from extending inside the home. All occupants safely evacuated without injuries. Firefighters rescued 1 cat and treated it with oxygen. The cause is under investigation. pic.twitter.com/scFHe5BZpA— South Metro Fire Rescue (@SouthMetroPIO) July 4, 2022
By the time firefighters arrived at the scene, the three-car garage was fully engulfed, but first responders were able to get a handle on the fire quickly, preventing it from extending into the living space of the property, officials said.
The homeowners reportedly told first responders the fireworks were used outside and felt cool to the touch when they were placed in the plastic trash bin inside the garage.
During a search of the smoke-filled home after the blaze was put out, the cat was found and treated with oxygen at the scene. The garage and many personal items were lost in the blaze, fire officials said.
If you’re going to light fireworks outside your home, SMFR recommends having a bucket of water, a garden hose full of water with a nozzle attached and/or a fire extinguisher nearby when fireworks are being used incase an accident happens.
They said once fireworks are cool and ready to be thrown in the trash, first soak them in the bucket of water overnight and leave the bucket outside, away from vegetation, mulch, or structures. The next morning, be sure to dump the wet bucket contents into a sturdy trash bag, and double bag it to keep the fireworks moist, then discard them the day your trash gets collected.
The Arapahoe Rescue Patrol and the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office assisted South Metro Fire with the response to this fire.