Fireworks might be cause of duplex fire

'It could've been much worse. Someone could've died'

Fireworks in Davenport may be to blame for a house fire over the weekend.

Freddie Ross Jr. lost his home after the side of a duplex caught fire on Saturday and he says fireworks were the cause.

"You hear it all day, you hear it all night," Ross said.

As the 4th of July nears, fireworks are being set off all across the nation. And here in Davenport, where consumer fireworks have just become legal, the boom has only gotten bigger.

Davenport police said there's been about a 50 percent increase in complaints compared to this time last year. Since June 1, nearly 120 complaints have been taken. This weekend alone, 51 calls came in.

"It's a nuisance. We do have people who have jobs, who have to go to work, have to get up," Ross said. "And, we shouldn't have to be subject to that all the time."

For Ross, it's become more than just an annoyance. His duplex on 6th Street in Davenport was badly damaged in a fire on Saturday, and early suspicions point to fireworks being the cause.

"My telephone was just going crazy, so I left work and when I got here, there were several trucks and firefighters," Ross said. "I pulled up through the back, and you could see where it was smoking."

The fire blazed through the second level of Ross' home -- the same level of his daughter's bedrooms. Luckily, they were not home. Ross says it's important for parents to be present if their children are lighting fireworks.

"My biggest concern with it, especially with the kids out here, is their parents not watching them," Ross said. "It's something they need to monitor. Because unfortunately, I'm thinking this may not be the only incident this season."

After this unfortunate incident that could have ended much worse, Ross has one thing for people to keep in mind for the rest of the summer.

"It could've been someone else's home," Ross said. "It could've been much worse. Someone could've died, someone could have lost their life. So, that's why i say these things need to be monitored. Especially with these parents giving their kids these fireworks, and they're being unattended. They need to be attended to. Because if not, bad things can and will usually happen."

Ross and his daughters were not harmed during the fire. The right side of the duplex is unlivable --the left side suffered only minor smoke damage.

-- Redrick Terry


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