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Fire likely started by illegal fireworks put Lathrop homes at risk
LM fire

Lathrop Manteca Fire Department officials are currently investigating what role illegal aerial fireworks may have played in a grass fire that threatened homes Sunday night.

A battalion chief and an engine responded to the fire Sunday night only to have to call two additional engines to assist in containing the fire off Warren Avenue near Avon Ave. behind the Stonebridge development.

The City of Manteca provided an engine and aided in putting out the fire before it damaged any nearby structures.

Preliminary reports indicated that illegal aerial fireworks may have to blame. Lathrop Manteca Division Chief Larry Madoski said that they are still determining that.

“Fortunately, it was contained to the grass,” Madoski said. “There was no damage to the structures that we’re aware of – there’s always a chance with fires like this that they spread to things nearby.

“Our members are trained, and we know that tactically we’re making good, sound decisions to protect property. It worked in this case.”

No injuries were reported from the fire.

While the City of Lathrop does permit the sale and use of safe-and-sane fireworks, their sale and use are confined to the week leading up to the Fourth of July and end at midnight of the holiday.

The use of aerial fireworks or those that explode are not permitted.

This year a handful of citations were issued by teams comprised of Lathrop Manteca firefighters and San Joaquin County Sheriff’s Department deputies assigned to Lathrop that worked in tandem to try and stamp out the use of illegal fireworks.

To contact reporter Jason Campbell email or call 209.249.3544.