Family home catches fire, blamed on fireworks

On July 4, the Fireworks Taskforce, made up of investigators from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, responded to 131 complaint calls regarding fireworks. These are the calls the task force was actually able to respond to. Just after midnight, there were 125 additional calls that investigators and firefighters were forced to triage and prioritize due to the severity of the others.Police list two structure fires, due to fireworks. One was Roy Blankenship’s home on Orchard Place. “Everybody is at a loss because we kinda lost a little of everything,” said BlankenshipBlankenship said his family of 11 had just moved back in after a previous fire there. He said he too was lighting off fireworks in front of his home when police say someone firing them from a nearby block party, caught his home on fire. Blakenship said he realizes now how dangerous fireworks are and that he could have caused similar damage to someone else’s home. “We thought we were having a good time on the Fourth. I know it wasn’t the actual actions that we were doing, but I still me and my kids we all know really agree that’s not really cool,” said Blankenship “No big fireworks and stuff like that shooting around houses, cause now we’re in a situation.”Blakenship said he typically spends his time working for a non-profit, helping residents and homeowners fix their houses.”My wife is spending her time trying to keep everybody smiling and me I’m gonna do what I do best, try to seek resources, and this time I’m doing it for myself,” said Blankenship.Police said calls over the Fourth of July ranged from a fight between neighbors on Lowrie Street over fireworks where as many as five people were transported to the hospital, to a large brush fire burned as a result of fireworks on Eckert Street. Not only did police respond to individual firework trouble, but large block parties as well. Police said fireworks from a Jacunda Street party were to blame for the fire at the Blankenship’s home. Another large block party with fireworks in Lewis Park caused several small fires where units responded on two different occasions to put out fires.Many of these parties left behind a large amount of debris on the streets that will require the help of Public Works to clear away. In addition to these incidents, there were several small brush and dumpster fires and cardboard fireworks display boxes that caught fire throughout the city.Police issued a number of citations and charges will be pursued for some of the more serious incidents.

On July 4, the Fireworks Taskforce, made up of investigators from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, responded to 131 complaint calls regarding fireworks. These are the calls the task force was actually able to respond to.

Just after midnight, there were 125 additional calls that investigators and firefighters were forced to triage and prioritize due to the severity of the others.

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Police list two structure fires, due to fireworks. One was Roy Blankenship’s home on Orchard Place.

“Everybody is at a loss because we kinda lost a little of everything,” said Blankenship

Blankenship said his family of 11 had just moved back in after a previous fire there. He said he too was lighting off fireworks in front of his home when police say someone firing them from a nearby block party, caught his home on fire. Blakenship said he realizes now how dangerous fireworks are and that he could have caused similar damage to someone else’s home.

“We thought we were having a good time on the Fourth. I know it wasn’t the actual actions that we were doing, but I still me and my kids we all know really agree that’s not really cool,” said Blankenship “No big fireworks and stuff like that shooting around houses, cause now we’re in a situation.”

Blakenship said he typically spends his time working for a non-profit, helping residents and homeowners fix their houses.

“My wife is spending her time trying to keep everybody smiling and me I’m gonna do what I do best, try to seek resources, and this time I’m doing it for myself,” said Blankenship.

Police said calls over the Fourth of July ranged from a fight between neighbors on Lowrie Street over fireworks where as many as five people were transported to the hospital, to a large brush fire burned as a result of fireworks on Eckert Street.

Not only did police respond to individual firework trouble, but large block parties as well.

Police said fireworks from a Jacunda Street party were to blame for the fire at the Blankenship’s home. Another large block party with fireworks in Lewis Park caused several small fires where units responded on two different occasions to put out fires.

Many of these parties left behind a large amount of debris on the streets that will require the help of Public Works to clear away.

In addition to these incidents, there were several small brush and dumpster fires and cardboard fireworks display boxes that caught fire throughout the city.

Police issued a number of citations and charges will be pursued for some of the more serious incidents.