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Illegal fireworks blamed for tree fire outside Las Vegas home

Illegal fireworks blamed for Vegas tree fire

A neighbor shooting off illegal fireworks on Saturday caught Robert Arvizu's palm trees on fire. The flames spread to the lawn and the front of the house.

"The neighbor told us, 'Sorry, but we caught your house on fire,'" said Arvizu.

Arvizu's first thought was to get his family to safety.

"The scariest part? We have a 2-month old baby," said Arvizu. "It smelled like smoke. She couldn't stay here last night."

This is exactly what local police and firefighters are trying to prevent this 4th of July. The website ISpyFireworks.com is giving people an outlet to report illegal fireworks.

The northeast portion of the valley sees much of the activity.

RELATED | Officials crack down on use of illegal fireworks in Las Vegas valley

"The website gives us an idea of trouble areas," said LVMPD Officer Laura Meltzer. "And we can use that information to plan for next year."

In the meantime, over at Rainbow Boulevard and Ann Road, UNLV Rodeo is hoping to raise a little cash selling safe and sane fireworks.

Coach Ric Griffith is just as fed up as anyone by the illegal displays in his neighborhood. But he says booths like this are important fundraisers.

"All this is for scholarships," said Griffith. "We had to go through a fire class for the safety part. The illegal ones go up in the air, and these stay on the ground."

As for Arvizu, he'll spend the holiday cleaning up. His yard covered in firefighting foam from Saturday night, the aftermath of a good time that got out of hand.

"They're not worth it," says Arvizu. "This was a Roman Candle. And it's just a disaster."

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