4th of July fireworks spark multiple house fires in Tampa Bay area

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Three fires in less than two hours kept Tampa Bay firefighters busy on July 4.

The Hillsborough County Fire responded to a fire on Soratrace Street in Fishhawk around 9:45 p.m. and saw heavy smoke and flames coming through the house. Crews set up a defensive attack to prevent the fire from spreading to nearby homes.

Officials said at least one person was inside the home when the fire broke out and was able to escape with two of their dogs. A third dog is still missing. No injuries were reported.

“The occupier threw used fireworks that were in a cardboard box into the garage, without extinguishing them with water,” the fire department said in a statement. “Investigators believe the heat from the fireworks started the fire in the box, which quickly spread through the garage and the house.”

About 30 minutes later, another fire broke out in the 5200 block of Ashley Parkway in Sarasota County. The fire was extinguished around midnight and all the inhabitants were found. No injuries were reported.

Officials said the blaze may have been caused by fireworks, but the incident is still under investigation by the state fire marshal’s office.

At around 11pm, crews were called to a fire in the 600 block of Pinewood Drive in Dunedin. The fire was quickly extinguished by firefighters.

“Residents told firefighters they had thrown away used fireworks and one of the fireworks had ignited and caught fire in the house,” officials told News Channel 8.

No one was hurt. Officials said the Red Cross had been called in to help six displaced people.

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