Family in Southern California: Fireworks cause devastating house fire

A family in Antelope Valley whose home went up in flames over the weekend said the devastating fire was caused by unauthorized fireworks being set off in the area.

Los Angeles County Fire Department crews responded to the June 30 fire at 012 West Avenue in Palmdale and said firefighters found a house fully engulfed in flames and a 4,000-square-foot brush fire.

Now Irma Campos and her family are sleeping outside the charred remains of their home in a mobile home loaned to them by a neighbor.

“It will take us a year to recover from this,” she told KTLA’s Angeli Kakade.

Campos said unauthorized fireworks have been a problem in Palmdale for years. There were explosions from all directions on Friday and Saturday. Just on Sunday, a firework landed in her backyard and caused a huge fire, Campos said.

“We opened the curtain and the fire came straight at us,” she explained.

Footage of the fire posted on the Citizen app shows dark smoke rising as flames engulfed her home. Campos said her first thought was to run.

“Mija, let's run,” she said of the moment. “We started running and my other daughter was there. We grabbed each other and ran barefoot. We just ran.”

Just last week, Palmdale announced a ban on the sale of illegal fireworks and warned residents that only fireworks labeled “safe and sensible” would be allowed.

“It's a desert landscape and these fireworks are flying around, exploding and their falling embers are starting fires, setting houses and brush on fire,” Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriff Erynn Velazquez told KTLA.

Setting off illegal fireworks can result in fines of more than $17,000 and criminal charges. Deputy Velazquez said extra patrols will be deployed for the Fourth of July holiday, but the damage to the Campos home is already done.

“Why did they do it? That's the most important thing to me, why,” Campos said. “I wanted the people who did it to see what was happening. Maybe they'd see it on TV. This is what you did to me. I don't have a home anymore.”

The fire department has not yet confirmed that fireworks caused the devastating fire in their house. The case remains under investigation.

A GoFundMe campaign has now been launched to help the Campos family cope with the tragic loss of their home.