CLEVELAND (WJW) — Children playing with fireworks led to a massive house fire in Cleveland’s Slavic Village overnight according to the Cleveland Division of Fire.

“There were reports that kids had been using fireworks there and you could see the casings … where the fire had been on the porch,” said Lt. Mike Norman of the Cleveland Division of Fire. “Our fire investigators determined that was the cause of that fire.”

When crews arrived on scene at East 71st near Fleet the vacant home was fully engulfed. Video captured by first responders and posted to social media showed flames shooting out of the house endangering the occupied house next door.

“That raises the safety concern for us … we had a lot of firefighters working on the second floor of a damaged structure that’s dangerous work for us,” said Norman.

A mother and son who live next to the vacant property managed to escape unharmed as flames spread to their home.

“We heard a loud boom and then … there was flames everywhere it ignited immediately,” said homeowner Felicia Ivery. “Horrifying, horrifying I wouldn’t want anybody to relive that.”

WJW photo

Lieutenant Norman said fire crews responded to 300 runs or calls for service following the Fourth of July, including one just prior to the vacant house fire involving a person suffering a blast injury that caused fingers to be “blown off.”

“I’ve never been a fan of fireworks I mean, and this proves my point right here,” said Ivery. “I always had a fear that due to carelessness somebody would set somebody’s home on fire and here I’m living it.”

Ivery said everything inside her home of six years is replaceable and she’s thankful her son and cat managed to get out.

“We could feel the heat and just the side of my house was ignited so we could feel the heat just trying to get down the stairwell to get out,” said Ivery. “For the children that thought this was so funny, not funny, not funny. Wherever your parents is at I hope they get a hold of you because this is nothing to play with at all.”

It was not immediately clear if the children involved had been identified or if they could face criminal charges.