Fire likely sparked by July 4 fireworks causes significant damage to Westside home

Family has relocated to hotel during clean-up efforts

A home on Jacksonville’s Westside suffered significant damage after a fire broke out on Independence Day -- likely caused by fireworks set off in the area.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A home on Jacksonville’s Westside suffered significant damage after a fire broke out on Independence Day -- likely caused by fireworks set off in the area.

The family told News4JAX the fire began on Monday around 11 p.m. after fireworks landed outside their home. They said the fire that started outside made its way into their attic.

No one was injured and the family is currently staying at a hotel due to the conditions inside their home.

Fireworks believed to be cause of house fire on Westside.

Bruce Newman, the homeowner, told News4JAX he is waiting on a contractor to assess the damages. He said the holiday changed his family’s life on what was supposed to be a fun night.

“A few minutes of fun with fireworks really ruined us for about a year,” Newman said.

Newman said he and his family just finished setting off fireworks on the street around 11 p.m. When they came inside, about 30 minutes later, the lights in the house began going on and off.

“[I] went to check on the breakers and that’s when we saw a raging fire up in the attic,” Newman said. “[We] couldn’t smell it in the house at all. If we would’ve been asleep, who knows, it could’ve been really terrible.”

Video recorded from a neighbor’s security camera showed a small flash near the side of Newman’s fence immediately followed by flames.

“I mean it really was like a boom, like an explosion about this high,” Newman said.

He said he got his family out of the house and within minutes Jacksonville Fire and Rescue arrived.

“It’s a pretty heavy impact on your life,” Newman said. “For a couple of days, we ran on adrenaline. Today, my wife just broke down crying a few times. I tell you the honest truth, yesterday I just felt defeated.”

Newman said he’s holding his head up for his family.

“What I keep going back to is we have strong faith,” Newman said. “We know God will pull us through this and nobody got hurt. To me, that’s the most important thing.”

Newman said he’s worried about the supply chain and getting what’s needed to repair his home. On top of that, he said the state of the economy doesn’t help much either.

Who set the fireworks off is unknown and Newman said it may be impossible to find out.

This wasn’t the only home that got hit on Monday. Two homes in the Tampa Bay area suffered heavy damage after fires broke out on the Fourth of July, and firefighters say fireworks were also likely to blame, according to Fox 13 News. No serious injuries were reported in that incident.


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