DJ Becker/The Madera Tribune
This home in the 27000 block of East Pecan Avenue was extensively damaged when burning material from illegal fireworks set it afire.
Another is damaged, along with vehicles and equipment; Madera police announce zero tolerance for such fires
A 47-year-old Madera man is in sitting jail for the use of illegal fireworks that destroyed a neighbor’s garage and most of their home Sunday night in the 27000 block of east Pecan Avenue (Avenue 13) about 9 p.m. near Watts Street, according to the Madera Police Department.
Authorities say the fireworks are illegal for good reason, because the large aerial burst concoctions that leave the ground can cause residential, grass or wildfires when they land.
Illegal mortars, bottle rockets, M80s and other varieties are profitable and are brought in from out of state, and frequently sold from the back of trucks or bought online. The loud noises also disturb veterans, pets and others trying to celebrate the 4th of July safely.
Public information officer Sgt. Mark Trukki said Juan Sandoval was arrested near the scene on felony charges, possession of illegal fireworks, causing a fire to an inhabited dwelling and violating his parole status. Sandoval reportedly confessed to setting off the fireworks, after a concerned neighbor took a video of him in the act of firing them off.
The fireworks reportedly went up and then came down on the roof a house three or four houses away from where Sandoval was lighting them off. The older home sustained major damage displacing a family. Stored vehicles and equipment in the driveway were also destroyed.
The fire also destroyed a shared fence, partially burned another house immediately to the west of the house that was destroyed.
No injuries were reported.
The Madera Police Department has announced a zero-tolerance policy for the possession and use of illegal fireworks effective immediately.
“The penalty for the first offense is up to $1,000 and a year in jail,” said Trukki.
He also said that anyone currently in possession of illegal fireworks can contact The Madera Police Department and surrender them for proper disposal — no questions asked.
Officers would like to remind everyone to celebrate the 4th of July in ways that are respectful to family, friends and neighbors. Extra police and fire department officers will be patrolling and on the lookout for people using illegal fireworks this year.
Please report the addresses of residents firing guns into the air, or setting off illegal, above ground fireworks to the Madera Police Department at 675-4220.