TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) Firefighters are urging people to be cautious while using fireworks this 4th of July.
Two teenagers are facing felony charges after Tucson Police say they accidentally started a fire while playing with sparklers near an east side home Monday night.
Captain Andy Skaggs with the Tucson Fire Department says this fire shows how dangerous and destructive fireworks can be. Skaggs said the fire started in some grass then quickly spread to the home.
"It took our units five minutes to respond to that scene," Skaggs said. "Our first unit when they got on scene reported the house to already be 75% involved."
Sparklers are legal, but can still be very dangerous, Skaggs said. The National Fireworks Protection Association reports fireworks start an average of 18,500 fires per year that includes three deaths and 40 injuries.
Skaggs says TFD is urging people to stay safe this holiday and leave the fireworks shows up to the professionals.
"No bottle rockets, nothing that shoots into the air," Skaggs said. "All of those are illegal. Let the professionals handle those. They get permits, they have the right things in place. The fire department is there a lot of times on standby."
Tucson Fire recommends if you are lighting fireworks or sparklers make sure you are in an open area like a concrete pad or empty dirt lot, have a hose or bucket of water nearby, and only use fireworks under close adult supervision.