Fireworks warning one year after apartment fire

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BLUE SPRINGS, Mo. – It was one year ago that firefighters were called to Autumn Place apartments for a fire that engulfed one of the buildings.  Months later Blue Springs firefighters determined fireworks caused that blaze.  Now a woman who lost everything is reminding people to be careful this holiday.

Nancy Monk lives just steps away from her old apartment.  It was one year ago when she got a frightening phone call from her son.

“He says Mom, I think your apartment’s on fire,” Monk said.  “I kinda lost it there.”

She didn’t know what to expect until she arrived.

“By the time I was here, the whole top floor was already gone,” she explained.
Everything was burned including priceless treasures from her mother who had recently passed away.

“I still have my memories but the stuff that my mother handmade and gave to me was irreplaceable,” Monk said.

Fire officials say the blaze that took Monk’s home and caused 1.5 million dollars in damage was caused by fireworks.

“After some investigation and some interviews, determined that was fireworks-related as well,” Eddie Saffell, Assistant Chief of the Blue Springs Fier Department said.

Monk says she tries not to look at her old building, and she’s not fond of the sound of fireworks anymore.

“I still have anxiety, I’ve been having some dreams,” she explained.

Although she still likes the idea of shooting off fireworks as a sign of patriotism, “It’s for the kids, they need to enjoy it and learn what the real celebration’s all about.”

She warns people to take all the precautions before lighting up, and she’s glad her apartment complex is doing the same.

“I feel better about it, they’re putting extra patrols out, I’ve seen them, and it seems to be under control,” Monk said.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks caused 17,800 fires in 2011.  The American Pyrotechnics Association, which works on behalf of the fireworks business, also strives to spread the message that fireworks can be safe if people using them are being careful.

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