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Illegal Fireworks Started Fire that Burned 3 Cars, Caused Power Outage in Santa Cruz

The first report came in as a tree on fire on First Avenue and Marine Parade at around 9:45 p.m. Friday, July 4th.

Credit: Santa Cruz Fire Department.
Credit: Santa Cruz Fire Department.
Illegal fireworks started a fire that damaged three cars and caused a power outage in Santa Cruz on Friday night, a battalion chief said.

A report of a tree on fire on First Avenue and Marine Parade came in around 9:45 p.m., Battalion Chief Jason Hajduk said.

Crews arrived at the scene to find a large tree and cars on fire, Hajduk said. Investigators determined the fireworks ignited the blaze on a tree then spread to a power pole and the cars.

[Previous: Triple Fines In Place For Fireworks Violators in Santa Cruz.]

Burned power lines were down on the ground leading fire crews to set up a perimeter, he said.

Residents on First Avenue between Marine Parade and Atlantic Avenue were evacuated with the assistance of Santa Cruz police, he said.

PG&E crews arrived at the scene to secure and de-energize the lines allowing firefighters to extinguish the blaze, according to Hajduk.

PG&E crews were able to restore service to customers in the 300 block of First Avenue affected by a power outage due to the fire, he said.

Hajduck estimated the fire caused an estimated $120,000 in damage.

Other fire-related coverage: City & UC Santa Cruz Now Share Fire Services.

--Bay City News

Eve Roberson July 06, 2014 at 07:05 PM
Hmmm, I wonder how much this one little fun piece of illegal fireworks cost the owners of the destroyed tree and personal property plus the entire neighborhood for the inconvenience in loss of their electricity? Oh and how about the cost to taxpayers for the emergency fire and safety personnel called out to douse it. Last year there were 3 fires in the County caused by illegal fireworks. What will it take to finally have a County-wide ban on the sale of fireworks?
Jozseph Schultz July 07, 2014 at 02:39 AM
Hmm, wonder how much all the enhanced enforcement is costing taxpayers? What will it take to again allow fireworks at the beach, where it is relatively safe, rather than driving them all over our tinder-dry areas inland?
Oedi July 07, 2014 at 01:08 PM
This cost taxpayers no more than the amount of their tax already budgeted to each of the departments involved for fiscal 2014. You don't actually think calling 911 is like calling a cab, do you?
Jozseph Schultz July 07, 2014 at 01:19 PM
No, it's not like calling a cab. If there is no demand for cabs, the availability of cabs diminishes. The police budget, on the other hand, never shrinks, and if it is threatened, there are always new crimes to be created, like drinking alcohol outside or sleeping without the benefit of proper lodging.

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