Illegal fireworks could be to blame for San Jose house fire

Illegal fireworks may be to blame for a fire in San Jose that singed a house, charred a car and torched a stand of trees.

In fact, residents say the night sky was filled with amateur explosions, and they say more needs to be done to stop this.

Officially, the cause of a fire at 1845 Luke Court, is undetermined.

But witnesses say the teens playing with fireworks nearby seem like obvious culprits.

It is just one of four fires San Jose crews responded to on Independence Day.

"The cypress trees out front went up in flames, threatening surrounding homes," San Jose Fire Capt. Peter Caponio says.

"One car was completely damaged. But we were able to save both the homes was a big save for our firefighters for sure."

While police report no major arrests, and hospitals no major injuries, San Jose says they received a huge number of fireworks complaints to their website and hotline.

The city started tracking them in early June.

In the month leading up to the Fourth, they had received 130 complaints.

On the holiday itself, that number jumped to 1,765.

Caponio says, "So what we'll do then is investigate those, determine if the evidence is credible and then issue citations if necessary."

From Alviso to downtown, residents say the sky was alight with illegal fireworks.

Jeff Levine, a San Jose resident says, "From 8:30 to about 12:30 it was non stop. Virtually the entire sky, every area of the sky you would see like professional shows right here in the neighborhood."

Levine thinks more should be done to stop them. He suggests preemptive busts in the weeks leading up to the holiday and more enforcement on the Fourth itself.

He says the Luke Ct. fire is a prime example why illegal fireworks need to be taken seriously.

He says, "There's maybe 10-20 percent of people who just say hey it's the 4th of July have fun. And to those people I say just look at the injuries, the fires, the cost of "having fun," it's not worth it."

San Jose has yet to determine how many citations they'll give out for illegal fireworks.

For those who receive them, the penalties start at $500 dollars.