Two fires in unincorporated King County that killed or critically wounded residents following Fourth of July celebrations have been linked to fireworks, according to fire officials.
A fire near Seattle’s Highline neighborhood left one man dead the night of the Fourth and two homes engulfed in flames, according to a tweet from King County Fire District 20.
Roland Kennedy, 70, died from smoke inhalation, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s Office. His death was ruled an accident.
Twelve people were displaced after the fire in the 10200 block of 10th Avenue South. A dog died in the fire and another is missing, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.
Fire investigators with the King County Sheriff’s Office determined that fireworks caused the blaze, according to a Monday statement from the office.
Witnesses said they heard a firework explode near one of the homes and believed sparks might have ignited moss on the roof of one of the homes, according to The Associated Press.
In unincorporated King County near Renton, another fire caused by fireworks left a woman in critical condition at Harborview Medical Center, said King County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Ryan Abbott.
The two-alarm fire started early Friday at a condo building in the 13900 block of Southeast 173rd Place. Fire investigators determined that spent fireworks left in a plastic garbage can started the fire, Abott said.
Elsewhere, a man in his 30s received significant injuries overnight to a hand and burns on his face from fireworks, according to the Valley Regional Fire Authority. The man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle from fireworks stands at the Muckleshoot Reservation.
Two other people were injured in the incident. A boy was taken to Multicare Auburn Medical Center for treatment. A girl was treated by emergency responders on scene, according to a tweet from the fire authority.
The fireworks-related mayhem wasn’t limited to the Fourth of July.
Two teenage boys were arrested Tuesday in Longview after allegedly throwing firecrackers at a car, hitting the driver in the face.
Longview police received a call around 3:15 p.m. from a male driver who said he had been hit in the face by poprocks that teenagers had thrown at his car while he was driving, Detective Sgt. Chris Blanchard said Wednesday.
The male victim said the pyrotechnics caused him to swerve and almost have an accident, Blanchard said. He didn’t report any injuries.
He then followed the car and called police.
There were six juveniles in the white Ford Explorer– five boys and a girl ranging in ages from 14 to 16, Blanchard said. They told police they had purchased the poprocks fireworks in Longview and were heading to the Kelso Dairy Queen, which is where police finally stopped them.
One of the teenagers who allegedly thrown the firecrackers also had a warrant for his arrest and gave officers a false name, Blanchard said. The 16-year-old was arrested on suspicion of reckless endangerment and making a false statement.
A second boy, age 14, was also arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of reckless endangerment and resisting arrest.
The four other teenagers were interviewed and released, Blanchard said.
“This time of year, it’s a little too tempting for some people to misbehave with fireworks,” Blanchard said.
Seattle Times reporter Asia Fields contributed to this story. Information from The (Longview) Daily news is included in this story.