Seven displaced after fire caused by illegal use of fireworks in Springfield

Springfield fire investigators have linked illegal fireworks to a house fire overnight that has now displaced five people from their home.
Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 6:56 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 5, 2022 at 5:02 PM EDT
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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A fire tied to illegal fireworks in Springfield has left seven people without a place to live.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 12 Webster Street just after midnight.

“It was boom, boom, boom one after the other, the big ones,” said Maria Arroyo.

Arroyo was at her Webster Street home in Springfield early Tuesday morning when fire investigators said illegal fireworks started a house fire next door.

“When I got up, I said ‘Oh Jesus, it’s the house. It’s on fire,’” Arroyo added.

Springfield Fire Captain Drew Piemonte told Western Mass News that the city’s arson and bomb squad confirmed the cause of the fire was connected to fireworks, which are illegal to possess and launch in Massachusetts.

“There was a lot of debris in the street that indicated that there were fireworks being actively detonated in that general area,” Piemonte noted.

Now, seven people have displaced and friends and families are left to pick up the pieces.

“We just took whatever we could and now they already closed it, so whatever’s there, we lost it,” said Cintia Ruiz.

Ruiz told us the Red Cross is assisting her mother-in-law, who is currently living in a hotel and her dog was heroically saved by American Medical Response crews on-scene.

“They had to revive him, but he made it,” Ruis added.

Piemonte called it one of the bigger fires in Springfield caused by illegal fireworks and given the amount of damage, he’s glad everyone made it out okay.

“With that many tenants living in the house, they were able to evacuate and it could’ve been a lot worse. Fortunately, everybody got out safe,” Piemonte explained.

He’s hoping it serves as a learning lesson for the community moving forward this summer.

“Leave the fireworks displays to the professionals, always practice your home evacuation routes,” Piemonte said.

The incident remains under investigation by the Springfield Arson and Bomb Squad. We asked Piemonte if there could be criminal charges. He said if they deem it necessary, they’ll take the appropriate avenues for prosecution.