A fire destroyed the garage of a Forest Lake family after used fireworks reignited last week.
The fire, located on the 20000 block of Everton Trail North, was called in by a neighbor driving home just after midnight on Monday, June 28.
The family had reportedly ignited legal fireworks, watered down the fireworks afterward, and disposed of them in their garbage, which was located by the garage. Overnight, the fireworks reignited. While the garage was destroyed, the home only sustained some smoke damage. The Forest Lake Fire Department responded and was able to keep the fire damage limited to the garage. The family escaped the house with no injuries.
Forest Lake Fire Chief Al Newman said that fireworks have a higher risk of reigniting because of how they are built.
“It’s tightly wrapped in cardboard, so all that propellant and gunpowder is on the inside. If you just put water on them, it doesn’t soak it enough to get past that outer layer of cardboard,” Newman said. “Wetting them down doesn’t really help.” Instead, he said fireworks should be placed in a 5-gallon bucket of water for about 24 hours, so the outer cardboard allows the water to soak into the inside, before they should be disposed of.
Newman also suggests residents be extra cautious due to the drought, including clearing any dead grass around campfire rings, or deciding not to hold a campfire on a more windy night.
“The Carlos Avery fire that happened in 2001, that was a campfire … that was put out,” Newman said.
He said the man who had the campfire put water on it, but it wasn’t enough water and the fire later reignited. The fire burned for eight days and cost an estimated $2 million, according to a report from Minnesota Public Radio.