Family forced out of Whitehaven apartment after fireworks spark fire

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Residents of the Peppertree Apartments in Whitehaven were treated to a different kind of light show Sunday night as a wall of orange flames lit up the sky.

The Memphis Fire Department says two units were damaged after fireworks landed on the roof of one of the units.

“We heard the fireworks actually when it hit the thing,” said Antonette Lacy, who lives in one of the damaged apartments.

“A few minutes after we heard it, somebody was like beating on our door,” she said.

Lacy, her sister and her two-year-old niece ran outside just in time to see the flames grow in size and intensity.

“It was horrific. It was big and it kept coming back no matter how much water they put over there,” Lacy said.

The experience brought back painful memories for Lacy, whose previous home caught fire two years ago.

“I had a flashback all over again. It was like, oh my God,” she said.

Some at the Peppertree Apartments are worried about the possibility of other fires given all of the fireworks that are continually being set off.

“In the breezeways, people been setting off fireworks, been setting the breezeways on fire,” said Tyshiko Kent.

A WREG crew heard some of the fireworks while they were surveying the damage from Sunday’s fire. 

Last week, Memphis police told us fireworks complaints were up more than 1,000 percent from last year.

The family who just lost their home and has now had to move into a hotel knows firsthand how quickly things can get out of control.

“If y’all want to pop fireworks, pop them in the parking lot. I mean, somewhere in the open. That way it won’t shoot and mess up our houses,” Lacy said. 

The fire department has put Sunday’s damage at $25,000.

Related: Woman killed by gunfire while watching fireworks, police say

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