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Investigators say discarded illegal fireworks likely caused two house fires in Montgomery Co.

Aspen Hill house fire
An Aspen Hill, Maryland, home sustained more than $500,000 in damage due to the fire and displaced the homeowner. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue/Pete Piringer)
Aspen Hill house fire
The fire damaged the structure, a car, and the neighbor鈥檚 shed. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue/Pete Piringer)
Montgomery County house fire
Another fire occurred about an hour later on Medway Street near Claridge Road and Glenmont Forest. (Courtesy Montgomery County Fire and Rescue/Pete Piringer)
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Aspen Hill house fire
Aspen Hill house fire
Montgomery County house fire

There were numerous fireworks-related incidents in Montgomery County, Maryland, during the Fourth of July holiday, including two house fires.

In the most serious case, an Aspen Hill home sustained more than $500,000 in damage and displaced the homeowner, according to Montgomery County Fire and Rescue spokesperson Pete Piringer. The fire happened around 11:30 p.m. on Thursday in the 14400 block of Brad Drive.

Piringer said that investigators believe aerial fireworks landed on the roof of the carport and flames spread to the attic. The fire damaged the structure, a car, and the neighbor’s shed.

“The homeowner was there sleeping. The smoke alarm activated for smoke in the house. About that time, a neighbor called saying the roof of the house was on fire,” Piringer said. “Fire investigators believe this was caused by some aerial fireworks that apparently landed around the house on the roof and burned on the roof.”

Another fire occurred about an hour later on Medway Street near Claridge Road and Glenmont Forest. Piringer said discarded fireworks were left against the side of a house.

“Some people had discharged some of these fireworks earlier in the day, discarded them, left them, and they smoldered and erupted into flames later,” he said.

The fire was only on the exterior of the house and no one was hurt.

Early Thursday morning, multiple packages of fireworks were seized after two vehicles crashed on Interstate 270 near Montrose Road in Rockville. One of those vehicles collided with a wall and burst into flames. Piringer said the other vehicle involved had a fairly large quantity of fireworks that were strewn across the road.

Fire investigators confiscated thousands of dollars worth of fireworks during Independence Day. They also responded to dumpster fires and brush fires. Piringer said people typically continue setting off fireworks after July 4 and urges you to turn any unused fireworks in to avoid fires.

“Fireworks are dangerous. They explode. They catch on fire,” he said. “Do what’s right, do not ignite. All fireworks are illegal, prohibited in Montgomery County for good reason.”

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