'It looked like the Fourth of July': Michigan home destroyed by - WNEM TV 5

'It looked like the Fourth of July': Michigan home destroyed by fireworks

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Source: CBS Source: CBS

Authorities say a 100-year-old home was destroyed in a fire caused by fireworks.

It started around 7:00 a.m. Sunday morning near Portage Street and Lake Street in Kalamazoo.

Investigators said a stockpile of fireworks went up in flames and were shooting out of the house when they arrived.

“I parked here and when I got out, it looked like the Fourth of July," Lt. Rafael Diaz said. "The front of this porch had fireworks exploding all over the place, and the distance from my vehicle to the house was as close as I needed to be.”

Diaz and other neighbors reported seeing fireworks shooting out of the front porch shortly after the fire started.

“All kinds of colors, it was lit up like a Christmas tree,” Diaz said. "We had gotten a report that there were a couple of hundred pounds of fireworks at the front of the house."

Larry Snow saw it all unfold from his 10th story apartment at Washington Square Senior Living.

“I thought someone was getting shot outside in our parking lot, so I hopped up to the window and I saw all the fireworks going off," Snow said. "The whole place just lit up. Bangs, booms and fireworks going all over the place.”

He joined dozens of people who watched firefighters battle the massive fire for roughly two hours.

“I was thinking did everybody get out, and thank goodness everybody did,” Snow said.

The homeowner, Margaret Hayes, and her son David made it out of the house safely.

Hayes said the house is over 100 years old, and she's been living there since 1976.

Relatives said David had a stockpile of fireworks because he was licensed to put on large displays. Fire crews said the fire was started on the front porch, then lit the stockpile of fireworks ablaze.

The fire department was actually called to Hayes' house just days ago, when Hayes said her house “mysteriously” caught fire in the back.

Crews put out that fire quickly, but that's led her to believe that this fire was set on purpose.

The fire marshal asks that anyone who may have any information about the fire to call them or Silent Observer.

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