City of Independence, Missouri

City of Independence Fire Department announces July 4 apartment complex fire caused by fireworks

The Independence Fire Department today announced preliminary findings have determined the cause of the Cedar Brooke Apartment fire on July 4 can be attributed to fireworks. Further investigation continues.

“Our department has been very busy with more than 400 calls for service in a five-day period,” Fire Chief Doug Short 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. Further, this has delayed findings on investigations as our Fire Inspectors have had to review multiple sites in a short period of time.”

Between July 1-5 there were 417 calls for service, with an average of 83 calls per day. There were eight structure fires during this period, with three on Tuesday, July 5. This is 10-15 calls higher per day than average.

The Department shared this video highlighting the equipment firefighters use to protect themselves and the impact of heat on firefighters - fb.watch/e5IKVqVSnE/.

“This is an important reminder to our residents to properly dispose of firework debris,” Chief Short said. “Please make sure all fireworks and punks are out by immersing them in water before you put them in the trash. Always shoot fireworks away from structures. And follow the instructions on the packaging.”