News

Fireworks set neighbor's house on fire in York Township

Written by Candy Woodall/The York Daily Record | Jul 5, 2018 9:25 AM

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A neighbor's fireworks display sparked a house fire that destroyed a shrub, melted porch lights and a doorbell, and ruined exterior moulding and soffit. (Candy Woodall, York Daily Record)

(York Township) -- Glenn Taylor didn't know what to think when he saw flames shoot through the top of his front door Tuesday night. 

A retiree in his 70s, his first instinct was to go get the fire extinguisher in the garage and protect his wife, who is ill. 

As he worked to snuff the fire that pushed through his entryway, a neighbor ran over with a garden hose to mitigate the damage Taylor couldn't see: a shrub and front porch in flames.  

"If not for the neighbor who came over with the garden hose, it could've been a lot worse," Goodwill Fire Company Chief Nathan Tracey said. 

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A porch light is melted after fireworks sparked a house fire. (Candy Woodall, York Daily Record)

The fire was mostly out by the time firefighters arrived, he said, but not before it consumed a large bush, cracked a window, melted two porch lights and a doorbell, and damaged the front door, soffit and exterior moulding. 

All of that damage was caused by the falling remnants of a neighbor's fireworks display, authorities said. 

York Area Regional Police are investigating. 

Taylor didn't want to comment much, noting that insurers and police are still investigating. Also, he doesn't think talking about what happened to his home will prompt change. 

"The lawmakers made their decision, and we've gotta live with it," he said. 

He was referring to a Pennsylvania law signed in October that allows people to buy bigger fireworks that shoot into the air with up to 50 milligrams of explosive material. Previously, the law allowed for only ground-based fireworks and sparklers. 

What happened to Taylor's home is one of many reports in the region of fires caused by fireworks. 

"There's definitely concern," Tracey said. "With the change in the law, you might have more users who aren't experienced, which can lead to some dangerous situations."

The law says fireworks need to be 150 feet from a residence. They were less than 70 feet from Taylor's home, authorities said. 

There were no injuries reported, Tracey said. 

This story comes to us through a partnership between WITF and The York Daily Record.

Published in News, York

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