Some Snoqualmie Residents Say Time to Change Fireworks Law as Fire Engulfs Roof, Destroys Ridge Home

It was an eerie scene Saturday morning in the 6600 block of Fairway Ave in Snoqualmie. Sunny blue skies set the backdrop for a destroyed home in a quiet neighborhood of expansive homes lining the front 9 of the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge golf course.

The morning of July 5th, neighbors were sweeping up firework debris from city streets while smoke detectors beeped from inside the charred, boarded up home.

Were fireworks to blame is the question. Many residents assume yes, as the fire began on the home’s rear, cedar shake roof. Neighbors of the destroyed home say a witness saw boys with bottle rockets on Fairway Ave, near the home, shortly before the fire began.

City of Snoqualmie Public Information OfficerJoan Pliego stated this afternoon, “The King county fire investigator has confirmed the house fire on July 4th was accidental and due to fireworks.”

The fast-moving fire engulfed the whole back of the home’s second story in just 40 minutes. Several fire trucks from the Snoqualmie Fire Department, Fall City Fire Department and Eastside Fire and Rescue responded and continued dosing the home hours after the fire was out. The home’s distinctive peaked roof collapsed inward.

The burnt home was boarded up as dark set in on the 4th of July. Plywood replaced kicked in doors, broken widows, holes made in the garage door made as fire crews battled the large blaze.

The homeowners were out-of-town at the time of the fire. No major injuries were reported due to the blaze. One firefighter did suffer a minor injury at the scene.

Fireworks are legal in Snoqualmie from 9AM – 12AM on July 4th, with many neighborhoods setting off elaborate displays. Some residents are now calling for the banning of fireworks, saying the 4th of July has gotten out of control on Snoqualmie Ridge.

The Snoqualmie Police Department reported that it responded to 24 fireworks complaint calls in Snoqualmie and 14 complaint calls in North Bend on July 4, 2014, with “no incidents, injuries or arrests.”

Fairway Ave home, the day after it was destroyed by fire on July4, 2014.

Fairway Ave home, the day after it was destroyed by fire on July4, 2014.

Tax record photo of home before fire.

Tax record photo of home before fire.

 

Comments

  1. anonymous says

    It was actually quite mellow on our street compared to previous years. About half the noise and kaboom level this year. Very nice.

    • Or perhaps you home owner association can make an addendum, no need for further laws or rights taken ; restricting all of Snoqualmie!

  2. How about everyone just pools the tens of thousands they spend on fireworks and put it towards an amazing community display? My neighborhood on the ridge is a bit out of control and I head to my parents with my freaked out dog to ride out the storm.

  3. Fireworks have gotten out of control up here in the last couple years! With all the focus on family friendly events and fostering community spirit, one must wonder why there is no city sponsored firework display.

  4. Makes me nervous now to leave my home on the fourth. I came back to my house after spending the fourth with some friends and there was debris all over my backyard. Who knows if something were to catch a spark and make a fire while I was gone. Luckily, this did not happen. I feel bad for the poor people who lost their home. I agree we should have a community fourth and should perhaps put a ban on all aerial fireworks. Fountain fireworks and ground displays, I have no problem. But the aerial ones can land anywhere and start a fire without someone knowing it.

  5. It has been ridiculous on our cul-de-sac the past four years. We have photos of the many illegal fireworks people insist on detonating over our home, our neighbors homes who happen to be out of town, or the wetlands which are supposed to be federally protected. We called the police twice this year with no response. We are seen as the unreasonable ones for standing up for our rights. This is absurd. It needs to stop. I have come to the opinion that fireworks need to be banned before anyone else loses their home. Enough already.

    • What about my rights Jeff? Are you one of those who only want your rights protected? How about a solution that is a compromise. Just because you don’t like it, doesn’t make it a problem.

  6. The fireworks on Moffat St. were completely out of control. They were bombing everything in sight, including the wetland. In 2011, they damaged the street and it had to be repaired, which cost the City, which cost the homeowners – in 2012 they bombed my sidewalk and left a hole.
    Issaquah, Redmond, Sammamish, Medina, Bellevue, Hunts Points, Mercer Island, etc. All have banned fireworks.
    I have ask the neighbors many times – please don’t bomb my home and they continue to do it over and over again, every year – they don’t care.
    No one cares about the wetland – all types of birds are living in the wetland, just to name a few, pileated woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, yellow-bellied flycatchers, northern flickers, bushtit, chestnut-backed chickadee, black capped chickadee, gray headed chickadee, hermit thrush, varied thrush, European starling, lark sparrow, etc.
    There are so many birds that visit the wetland, which I have not named. Many birds are uncommon and are rare – but somehow they have found their way to Snoqualmie and I have taken 1000’s of pictures, so it is extremely hurtful when bombs are sent into protected Federal/State land.
    It is hurtful and it is not fair when you ask your neighbors to please stop and they simply laugh at you and continue. The neighbors say it is for the kids – the fireworks that were used are in no way safe for any child and according to the City website – these fireworks were not listed.
    After four years of living in fear – I am no longer able to continue to live in Snoqualmie. I will take my sweet loving memories of the birds and move on and hopefully they will follow me to my new home. I must live in a city that understands that all of life is precious and is worth protecting, not just a few.
    I am deeply, deeply sorry for this family and the pain that they have to endure – just because people feel entitled to do whatever they want. I think as a community and what this land used to stand for when the Native American lived here – I feel we should show love and compassion to this family in need.

    • Right, not just your rights though ok? Just because i laugh at your request doesn’t make you the victim. I have rights too. Its not that anyone felt entitled, it’s that the law says i can have fireworks. Entitlement is if the law says no, but i insist that i have the right to do what makes me happy. Thats a huge difference.

      • I was hoping to hold a flaming baton twirling exhibition in City Hall but they refused my rights. I am with you, Hugh!

    • I agree! Think how terrified our beautiful forest animals are, the bear, elk, etc. It is completely barbaric behavior, and extremely selfish. To treat the wetlands also in such a manner is cruel. We need to come together on this and think of others. This doesn’t remind me of behavior becoming to the Evergreen state, does it?. It’s embarrassing.

  7. It was ridiculous this year. I am really surprised this is allowed with homes so close together. One of the ones on my street was shooting them over their home and the woods lighting up the whole street. I mean this was some big stuff. There is just no common sense. And I agree with Jeffrey, you complain about anything on the Ridge and your the unreasonable person.
    I had a feeling there was going to be trouble this year with fireworks being sold on the parkway. I don’t go away because I don’t want to leave my home and pets unattended. How sad is this!

  8. Michelle says

    Does anyone know what has to happen to change things? How do we make fireworks illegal as so many other cities in King County have done?

    • Danna McCall says

      I would suggest speaking at an upcoming city council meeting or a Public Safety Council Committee meeting. You can visit the City of Snoqualmie website or call 425.888.1555 to find out when those upcoming meetings are.

  9. This was a horrible accident that probably woke up a lot of people to the dangers of fireworks. Regardless of what happens with the laws we should definitely allow people to change out the cedar roofs.

  10. There are so many different options for controlled fireworks shows these days that home fireworks just aren’t necessary. I do enjoy fireworks and would love to go out to see one of the big shows, but instead I’m home with my terrified dogs that have to be medicated just to get through the day and night. Not to mention the week leading up the 4th because people just can’t wait to start blowing things up.

    The police shouldn’t be vilified here. They have to prioritize calls for service and having worked as a 911 dispatcher, I can tell you that calls for fireworks are overwhelming on the 4th. It’s impossible for the police to go to every location where fireworks are and determine what’s legal and what isn’t. It’s also a big party day which means more drinking and therefore more violence calls. If fireworks were banned in the city, there would be far fewer fireworks calls and while prioritization of calls would still happen, it would allow officers the chance to be more focused on enforcement.

  11. Please speak up if you think fireworks should be banned. Let the city representatives know and begin the discussion. I’ve never seen anything like the private fireworks “shows” here on the Ridge. We’re asking for more fires and serious injuries if we don’t act as a community including a complete ban and perhaps a single city sponsored PUBLIC fireworks show.

    • I absolutely agree and so do many of my neighbors & friends. The question I have though is whether this should be action by the Homeowner’s Association Board – which would affect only Snoqualmie Ridge properties, or if it should be a city -wide matter. I think the real concern that I have is the HUGE fireworks being detonated in the high density residential area of the Ridge. It is crazy and dangerous!!! Does anyone know if the Board can take action to amend by-laws to prohibit fireworks only in the Snoqualmie Ridge development? And, I think a professional display for the whole community would be wonderful.

      • Time to catchup Snoqualmie Ridge! Sammamish outlawed personal use of fireworks in their city over 10 years ago! I think the Ridge should follow. A very dear friend of mine lives next door to a home that was burned to the ground due to fireworks. A new law in place is something that needs to happen for the safety of all homeowners and their families. Each and every year our dogs are traumatized. It is inhumane on all levels, let alone the poor veterans that actually fought for our country that don’t relish having bottle rockets fired a few feet from their front door. I think the unfortunate Fairway fire is a huge wake up call for our residents and homeowners association.

    • I couldn’t agree more Ward, and this is a discussion I have with my husband each year. We DREAD the 4th in our neighborhood, and it shouldn’t be like that. It sounds like a war zone, and it has shaken our home many times with debris all over our fenced backyard. I don’t elect for this and I don’t feel like our family and dogs should have to suffer every year along with thousands of others. Our homes are too close together for people to be randomly shooting off serious fireworks. A professional fireworks show is fine, but private citizens shouldn’t be doing this in these family neighborhoods.

  12. Teresa S. says

    so you want fireworks outlawed because it is dangerous… then outlaw driving because another car may or may not hit you.can’t walk on the sidewalks because you might fall down… dangerous…close all the parks… might skin a knee so they are dangerous….. outlaw hiking any of the mountains and trails because you may fall and get hurt so they are dangerous, outlaw bacon because God Forbid if you eat 30,000 pounds in a day it MAY give you cancer… and BBQ’s well we all know they are dangerous…. truly gimme a break……. deal with it….

  13. Totally off subject but…
    What’s the deal with Halloween in Snoqualmie? There are no trick or treaters. Is that not encouraged here? Anyways hopefully they don’t get rid of fireworks – perhaps limit it to fountains?

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