FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fireworks, they can be beautiful to look at from afar, but potentially dangerous up close.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says thousands are sent to the emergency room every year for firework-related injuries, property damage is a firework risk as well.
Early Sunday morning, the Aboite Fire Department, along with other surrounding departments, responded to a house fire in Aboite Township.
Aboite Fire Chief Gale Stelzer II says the fire had engulfed the home by the time they arrived.
"There smoke alarm had gone off, they got up to see what was going on and they saw that the trash can next to the garage was on fire, so he got his family out of the house and called 911," Stelzer said.
After interviewing the family, they discovered the fire was likely caused by spent fireworks the family had set off earlier in the day and thrown in the trash can.
Tips like never letting kids handle fireworks and not shooting them off near houses is important, but proper disposal is important as well to avoid self-heating and potential fires.
"When you’re done shooting off fireworks, you want to soak them in a bucket of water and soak them for a couple of hours before you throw them away into a trashcan," Stelzer said.
You should then double wrap/bag the fireworks so they don't dry out, then into the trash can, away from any property if possible.
Another important tip, check to make sure your smoke alarm is working properly so you can be alerted in a worst-case scenario.
If you don't have a smoke alarm in your home, call your local fire department's non-emergency number to see if they can help you.
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Stelzer says they see firework-related calls every year, but, "That’s one of the worst ones we’ve seen in a while, at least out here in Aboite township."
None of the residents were injured in the fire, but one firefighter was sent to the hospital.