Illegal fireworks blamed for overnight house fires in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS - The 4th July has come and gone but the dangers of fireworks are still being felt Wednesday. Four St. Louis firefighters were injured while battling dozens of fires within 24 hours likely sparked by fireworks during celebrations. St. Louis Fire Chief says they knew they were going to be busy for the 4th of July celebrations as fire fighters responded to 335 calls and of those calls 13 building fires.

We are told most of the fires were likely sparked by bottle rockets and other illegal usage of fireworks.” Every year it seems to get a little worst, yesterday it got a worst very quickly,” said Dennis Jenkerson.

St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson is clearly concerned.

Among the most serious, a house fire on Oriole Avenue near Harney Avenue in North St. Louis. The vacant home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. The fire spread to the roof of a home next door. Firefighters quickly extinguished it.

Another fire damaged a home just after one this morning at Lotus and Hamilton Avenues. The fire started on the second floor. Luckily the residents got out safe, “I don’t want to see anybody property be destroyed for illegal reasons,” Jenkerson.

One fire fighter suffered heat exhaustion while fighting a fire in the 5100 block of Cates. Another firefighter got thermal burns from the heat of a fire in the 4100 block of Oregon.

A third firefighter was injured fighting a fire in the 3600 block of Pennsylvania and a fourth fire fighter remains in the hospital in serious condition after over exertion, “It’s very dry right now and we have not had a good rain in a while. We have very dry conditions so as Fire Chief I’m asking people to just stop,’ said Chief Jenkerson.

The four firefighters are expected to make a full recovery. The fire chief encourages residents to keep in mind the dangers of fireworks and a reminder they are illegal in St Louis City.