Mother who escaped 4th of July fire in Lake Stevens wants fireworks banned in city
LAKE STEVENS, Wash. - A mother who escaped a Fourth of July fire in Lake Stevens said she wants to see fireworks banned in the city.
Investigators said fireworks likely sparked a fire that destroyed two homes and damaged three others.
Kristen Bell said she was just about to go to bed when a neighbor pounded on her door to warn the mother of two.
Bell saw the danger outside her window as the furious fire headed towards her home.
Two of her neighbors' homes were already engulfed in flames and flames were melting the siding of another home.
“When I walk by the dining room window, the whole thing was lit up orange, the fire was right here,” said Bell.
Bell rushed to her mom and two young sons.
“You just don’t really think, you just do what you have to do,” said Bell through tears. “You just go in auto-pilot and get the kids. [I ] grabbed my 9-month-old from the crib and my 5-year-old from the top of his bunk bed.”
Kristen prayed as firefighters stopped the inferno from burning down her house, but she said the fire caused $10,000 in damage to her home.
Investigators said the damage to all five homes is about a million dollars.
Neighbors said someone threw away a used firework into a garbage bin before the fire ignited and spread to the homes.
Firefighters said the fire was accidental and related to fireworks, but they’re still investigating.
Bell believes fireworks should be banned in Lake Stevens.
“Fireworks should not be allowed—especially in small tight compacted neighborhoods like this,” said Bell. “This mistake that was made nearly cost lives and five homes.”
Officials said five fire districts responded to the fire, including Snohomish County, Everett and Marysville.
Firefighters said it is legal to set off approved fireworks in Lake Stevens but they warn people have to be cautious.
"There's been many, many houses lost due to fireworks, and not even the misuse of fireworks and sometimes it just happens,” said Assistant Fire Marshal David Petersen. “Accidents are hard to avoid especially when the loss is so great with these two homes and the surrounding homes around it."