About 18 years ago, we were home one New Year’s Eve. Apparently around here (Northern VA), fireworks are often shot off then as well. Well, maybe they’re common elsewhere on NY Eve, I’ve just never lived anywhere else where they were legal.
Late in the evening, we heard a whoosh sound. Sort of like the sound you’d hear if you were dragging a heavy cardboard box across rough concrete.
A couple of minutes later, every smoke detector in the house went off.
I called 911 while Typo Knig ran around the house looking for evidence of fire - nothing.
Then he looked in the back yard - and saw a small fire in the mulched area outside the back door. A quick blast with a fire extinguisher and it was done.
The next day, when we could see, we looked outside. There was a large dent in the siding between the door (a double French door), and the windows. And a foam-covered firework lying in the flowerbed just below that.
If the damn thing had gone one foot to the right, or two feet to the left, it would have gone through glass, landed on the carpet or in some boxes of papers, and set fire to the house. We couldn’t have fought that ourselves, as it was between any source of water and the back door (walkout basement - we’d have been trapped if it got out of control). So we’d have had to let it burn while the fire department was en route.
Several hundred dollars in damage to the siding and we got off lucky. If the house hadn’t been so poorly built that it leaked like a sieve (letting enough smoke in to trigger the alarms), or if the mulch hadn’t been damp, the fire could have gotten bigger and spread to the house structure. If we hadn’t been home, it might have lasted long enough spread to the house.
The fire marshall came by the next day to look at the device and said it was one that is not even legal in our state - in fact, the closest place it might be legal is South Carolina. We theorize that some people were setting them off a half mile away, and one misfired and went more or less horizontally.
Needless to say, we disapprove of amateur fireworks.