Illegal Firework Burns Hole in Elk Grove Family’s Roof

ELK GROVE -- Jose Ortiz and his family were out enjoying the fireworks in Elk Grove when a neighbor called and told him his house was on fire.

"Flames were pretty up high. It was windy so I didn’t really pay attention," Ortiz said. "There was just fire everywhere. There was a lot of fire department people out here."

Next door neighbor Ro Wynne battled the fire before firefighters or the Ortiz family got there.

"The neighbors across the street started running across the street. 'The house is on fire. The house is on fire,'" Ortiz recalled.

So, Wynne grabbed a garden hose, ran to the Ortiz's backyard and started spraying toward the roof.

"And then all of a sudden it all just went, poof. It started coming through the roof," Wynne said. "The whole backyard was filled with smoke. So I had to get outta there. I barely made it out the back."

"The attic space was fully involved with fire at the time and a large amount of fire," said Sacramento City Fire Capt. Keith Wade. "Mutual aid with at least 30 firefighters got the flames under control within about 30 minutes."

Witnesses told officials an airborne firework landed on the roof.

"Anything that flies in the air is illegal," Wade told FOX40.

On Thursday, the family returned to their home to see the extensive damage caused by the fire. The wood shake roof was torn up, shingles were in disarray and there was a hole through the roof.

Inside the home, the roof's pink insulation dropped from up top after the work firefighters did to extinguish the flames. Water and smoke damaged the inside of the home extensively.

"This is the kinda stuff that happens and to look these people in the face last night and they're losing their home," Wade said. "Today they're not living in their home and that's due to the illegal use of fireworks."

"Just don’t do it. It’s not worth it," Ortiz said. "Thank God there was no kids inside that house. It’s not worth it.”