Massachusetts

Dracut House Fire Likely Caused By Sparklers Thrown in Trash After July 4th BBQ

Nine people were displaced by the fire at an Arlington Street home that was most likely caused by sparklers throw out in a trash barrel after a Fourth of July barbecue

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Sparklers are believed to have caused a fire that seriously damaged a home overnight in Dracut, Massachusetts, and displaced nine people, state fire officials said.

Firefighters were called for heavy fire and smoke coming out of an Arlington Street home around 12:30 a.m. Tuesday. The blaze burned through the back of the single-family wood-framed home and spread to the second floor.

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State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey's office said everyone made it out safely thanks to a neighbor who spotted the fire early, but the home has significant damage.

"We're very fortunate that everyone made it out of the house safely, especially given the late hour," Dracut Fire Chief Richard E. Patterson said in a media release.

Ostroskey said it was determined that the fire originated in the left rear of the home, near several trash barrels, where sparklers had been thrown out after a Fourth of July barbecue.

“I want to remind the community that people are hurt and property is damaged by illegal fireworks every year in Massachusetts. This includes sparklers, which burn at temperatures over 1,800 degrees. They can remain hot enough to ignite debris even after they go out. Please, for your family’s safety, leave fireworks to the professionals," Patterson said.

Illegal fireworks caused more than 900 fires between 2012 and 2021, Ostroskey said. In the same timeframe, Massachusetts medical facilities reported 31 severe burn injuries associated with fireworks and sparklers.

The Dracut fire was investigated by the Dracut Fire Department and state fire investigators.

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