VALLEJO, Cali - The hill leading up to Swanzy Court in South Vallejo was nothing but dry and burned grass Tuesday morning. Homeowners woke up to assess the damage that was done the night before.
Around 9 p.m. Monday, Meiry Brown says she was getting ready for bed when she randomly had an urge to make a smoothie.
"When I was in the kitchen, I was standing right there in the glass door and the fire was right there," she said.
A fire uphill burned her fence and backyard. She called 911 and evacuated immediately, taking her daughter to a friend's house for the night.
"Not today," Brown thought to herself. "I'm not going to die today."
Brown returned to her come Tuesday morning and could still smell the smoke in and out of the house. Fire investigators returned to the scene looking at the damage and determining a cause. Their hunch—fireworks are likely responsible, which are illegal in Vallejo.
"We see it all the time," said battalion chief Cliff Campbell.
"Fireworks start like a month before the Fourth of July and it continues to get busier until the Fourth of July,"
According to Vallejo city code, setting off fireworks within city limits can cost you. The first offense can earn you a fine up to $250, a second fine is worth $500, and a third fine within 12 months is up to $750.
"They really think it's funny," said Brown. "Those fireworks, it's not. It's life threatening."
Brown calls it a miracle her home is still standing. She says the damage could've been worse if it weren't for good fire fighters and maybe a little divine intervention.