Fireworks causes $50K in damages to church annex building - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Fireworks causes $50K in damages to church annex building

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UPDATE: Sixty-thousand dollars-worth of damage between two fires, both, officials say share the same cause: Fireworks.

Bruce Garner with the Chattanooga Fire Department says every year firefighters work about a handful of firework-related incidents. This year was no different.

The largest response this year was needed Saturday in the parking lot of Silverdale Baptist Church when a group of adults and kids were shooting off fireworks.

When the group was done, they cleaned up the debris and put it in a trashcan next to the church’s office annex. About an hour later, a fire broke out. The fire did not affect the church's main building.

Garner says it all could have been prevented had one measure been taken.

“We prefer you leave fireworks up to the professionals, it’s just a safer way to do it. But if you are going to use fireworks, make sure you soak everything down so that they are totally harmless and you can hurt anybody,” he said.

Less than 48 hours later, firefighters were called out to another fire about a mile away at Rainbow Creek Apartments.

“Some boys were playing with fireworks, putting them inside the cracks of the apartment building and setting them off,” Garner said.

This one causing only $10,000-worth of damages but Garner says could have been a lot worse.

“They noticed a smoldering fire inside the wall. There was nothing they could do about it so they had to call the fire department,” he added.

Even though no one was hurt in these fires, Erlanger reports eight firework-related injuries this year. But for Garner, that’s eight too many.

“Leave it to the professionals to enjoy fireworks,” he said.

PREVIOUS STORY: Firefighters were able to put out a fire at an annex building at Silverdale Baptist Church Saturday night at 11:12 p.m.

Investigators tell Channel 3 firefighters got the fire out quickly, but there was significant damage. The loss was estimated at $30,000 for damage to the building and $20,000 for the contents.

No injuries were reported.

Fire investigators tell Channel 3 that several adults and a couple of children had been shooting off fireworks.

After they were done, they said they cleaned up the debris from the fireworks and put it in a trash can located next to the building.

About an hour later, a fire broke out. The fire consumed the trash can and then spread up the outside wall into the soffit above, and then got into the ceiling. The cause of the fire is being ruled accidental.

The same fire investigator also responded to a small fire earlier Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. that  Rainbow Creek Apartments on Standifer Gap Road.

The investigator said some children were shooting off some fireworks, placing them in cracks in an exterior wall and lighting them.

The fireworks started a smoldering fire in the wall.

Someone called 911 and firefighters responded. They had to tear into the wall to make sure the fire was out.

The estimated damages are $10,000.

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