An illegal airborne firework was the most likely cause of a fire that severely damaged a home west of Gig Harbor on July 4, a Pierce County fire investigator said Tuesday.
Deputy Fire Marshal Pat Kettenring said fireworks were being used in front of the house in the Whitley Hills Estates and also in areas to the east and north. He said he has ruled out other causes for the fire.
He wouldn’t say what kind of firework caused Sunday’s fire but said he had a “pretty good idea” who was responsible for setting it off.
Kettenring said he hopes to wrap up his investigation and turn it over to a Pierce County sheriff’s detective today. A decision on whether it warrants a criminal investigation will be up to the detective, he said.
Using an illegal firework is a minor infraction, Kettenring said.
“This is accidental,” he said. “No one intended this to happen.”
No one was hurt in the fire, which erupted shortly before 10:30 p.m. on the roof of a four-bedroom home at the end of a short cul de sac. Flames were coming from the roof of the house when Gig Harbor Fire District 5 crews arrived.
No one was home at the time of the fire.
The home’s owner, Charlene Peyton, was on her way home from a friend’s and ended up following the fire vehicles to the cul-de-sac.
“I saw flames,” she said Tuesday. She ran up the street toward the house, screaming that “somebody was burning down her house,” she recalled.
Mike Archbold: 253-535-9552 firstname.lastname@example.org