INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Fireworks started a fire that destroyed a carport and several cars at the Cedar Brooke Apartment complex on July 4.

The Independence Fire Department released the preliminary findings Thursday morning.

Not only did the fire melt a carport and several cars, it left some residents who live in the complex without a home.

“I saw what looked like a limb fall onto our building, and I’m like, ‘OMG, our apartment’s on fire,’” Lydia Senate said. “It’s so heartbreaking when you realize that moment of, yes, they’re things, but they’re your things.”

The fire department said it has been a busy week for firefighters.

“Our department has been very busy with more than 400 calls for service in a five-day period,” Fire Chief Doug Short, Independence Fire Department, said. “Between July 1-5, we saw eight structure fires – with three on July 5 alone. We generally average 1-2 structure fires a week. This has challenged our firefighters as they battle back-to-back fires and triple-digit heat indexes outside of the fire.”

Short said the fires are yet another reminder of the danger of fireworks. It also shows how quickly an evening of fun can turn into an emergency.

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