Illegal fireworks used improperly caused a house fire in Northwest Washington overnight, according to D.C. Fire and EMS.
Fire gutted a wood frame house on Varnum Street NW about 1 a.m. Friday.
Four people and their pets got out safely.
"It could've had far worse implications if the people had been asleep,” said Vito Maggiolo of D.C. Fire and EMS.
Illegal fireworks cause residents angst each Independence Day.
"You can see this every year,” neighbor Robert Nicolas said. “And use bigger and bigger whatever things those are every year. They make more noise, go up higher, but yesterday it was just like rockets all over the place."
The spot where the fire took hold remains under investigation.
The fireworks are covered with warning labels about only using them on flat surfaces, keeping them away from children and keeping water nearby. D.C. Fire and EMS warns residents to only buy fireworks from legitimate stands in the city.