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Fireworks blamed for Blytheville house fires

BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. — Fireworks may be to blame for two house fires in Blytheville on July 4, firefighters say.

One dramatic fire on West Main Street was captured on video. According to the Blytheville Fire Department, assistant Blytheville police chief Ricky Jefferson happened to be driving by the two-storey house when he saw fireworks shoot through the window, causing green sparks followed by flames.

"We all come over here in our little bare feet and was watching the fire and it was taller than the treeline," said Jennifer Holifield.

The flames appeared to reach about 30 feet above the house, scorching trees.

"Embers were going everywhere for about a block-and-a-half," said Holifield.

"It was very, very hot," said Zach Morrison.

"It was the largest fire I’ve ever seen, I’ll put it like that," he added.

Another fire about a mile away claimed a vacant house on West Vine Street.

Firefighters say they are still investigating the cause of the fire, but that fireworks are "more than likely" to blame for both fires. The ruins of both structures were still smoldering a day later.

"I heard fireworks during the fire," said Morrison.

"There were a lot of hooligans out here shooting fireworks last night, you know, and people are careless, you mix liquor with it and there cannot be a good outcome," said Holifield.

Because both houses were already vacant at the time of the fire, there were no injuries in either of them.

WREG reached out to Jefferson, but didn't hear back. We also left a message for Blytheville Police Chief Ross Thompson asking if there would be any citations or criminal charges stemming from these cases since using fireworks is illegal in Blytheville City limits. That message hasn't been returned.

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