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Homeowner who started Ammon fire cautions fireworks users

On Saturday night in Ammon, fire crews raced to the foothills, where flames licked the sky and flew toward homes in the Comore Loma neighborhood.

This station learned on Sunday, the fast-moving brush fire was started by out-of-control fireworks.

The homeowner who ignited the blaze didn’t want to be identified by name, but said it only took a second for the fire to start.

“It happened so, so quickly,” she said. “It just started off as just a little tiny burst.”

That tiny burst turned to a bigger flash, and in no time at all, spread through the brush behind the home.

“Everybody went over there to try to put it out, but the wind picked up,” she said.

The wind whipped the fire into a fury, cutting a firey line through the hillside.

“Very, very quickly,” she said.

The homeowner said the family was shooting off fireworks last night. So were dozens of their neighbors, she said. All of a sudden, two fountains toppled onto one another, igniting the blaze.

“Everybody started running and getting hoses, the neighborhood responded,” she said.

The Idaho Falls Fire Department responded as well, with images of the devastating June 28 Charlotte Fire in Pocatello still burned in their memories.

“You get there as quick as you can,” said Idaho Falls firefighter Mark Pitcher. “You have your game plan thought out before hand.”

Pitcher wasn’t at last night’s fire, but he said a quick response is exactly what firefighters focused on last night.

“Once the wind picks up on a fast-moving fire, you can’t get ahead of it quick enough,” said Pitcher.

This time, he said, it was just quick enough.

“I mean, even though we had rain the day before, the winds pick up so quickly,” said the homeowner.

She said it is a big lesson learned.

“Please people, be so careful,” she said through tears.

She said she saw neighbors shooting off fireworks even as the fire burned and fire crews arrived.

As flames tore through the brush, onlookers jammed roads in the area with cars, making it difficult for crews to get to the fire. IFFD wants to remind folks how dangerous that can be.

The homeowner was cited for illegal fireworks.

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