VICTORVILLE (CBSLA) — Even though no homes suffered significant damage in a recent fire, it was way too close a call for people in a Victorville neighborhood.
They hope it makes people think before they light illegal fireworks.
Rachel Bernal had no idea a fire was raging just behind her house until neighbors came running and yelling.
“I pulled that curtain open, I looked through the blinds, and all I saw was a huge fire right above our house,” Bernal said. “It looked like it was going to fall into our back yard.”
She immediately woke up her husband and baby, and once she knew they were safe, ran into her back yard and grabbed a hose.
“I got out here and started spraying all this down,” she said.
A neighbor’s video shows just how much the wind was gusting.
“It exploded, and the wind pushed it, and it went and affected my neighbors house and the other neighbors house and everything was destroyed back there,” Bernal said.
She isn’t surprised to hear the fire was likely started by illegal fireworks. She had heard a loud burst that night.
In fact, she’s been hearing them for weeks, something that’s hard for veterans like her and her husband.
“On Fourth of July, it’s one thing when you go to a show and you’re expecting it. It’s fine,” she said. “But when you’re in your own home and think you’re in your comfort zone and all of a sudden you hear an illegal firework go off right outside your house or near your home, it’s very startling.”
She can only hope that this close call will get people to think twice.
“You shoot off a firework, and it only takes one spark for it to light a whole street on fire and almost make four houses burn down,” Bernal said. “If it wasn’t for the fire department being right up that street, who knows what would have happened?”
The fire marshal has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to illegal fireworks. They’ve already confiscated more than 25,000 pounds of them, have fined people thousands of dollars, and they’ll be patrolling through the July 4 holiday.