Video: Fireworks spark brush fires on Albuquerque’s West Side

[anvplayer video=”5183153″ station=”998122″]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Homeowners say a group of teenagers were lighting off fireworks late Monday night, and left behind several fires for homeowners and firefighters to deal with.

A home security video showed two fires already burning when fireworks lit up the night sky in Ventana Ranch Monday.

“I wasn’t really sure what to think I was like, that’s not gonna go well, is it,” said Annabell McCartney.

15-year-old Annabelle McCartney saw the fires burning from an upstairs window, and rushed to wake up her dad.

“At first hoped that it was a minor issue. But as soon as I got to a point where I could see it out of our back window, I can see immediately that I needed to call 911,” said Sean McCartney, a Ventana Ranch resident.

Their next door neighbor took a video from his backyard that showed nearly half a dozen small fires burning on both sides of an arroyo. The arroyo is surrounded by dense, dry vegetation.

“Some of the brush comes right up to the wall,” said Sean. “Multiple neighbors were out on their back wall spraying water over their wall to try to keep the fire from getting closer.” 

Neighbors say they were able to get some of the fires under control before Albuquerque Fire Rescue crews arrived on scene.

Officials say that shouldn’t be Plan A.

“The most important thing to remember is call 911. Get units en route early. Try to give accurate information, so we can get there in the most timely response possible,” said AFR Public Information Officer Lt. Jason Fejer. 

Fortunately, patches of scorched Earth was most of the damage left behind. But neighbors believe it could’ve been much worse, especially considering who they think lit the fireworks.

“Many of these areas it’s just waiting to burn, and it’s extremely risky, and it’s hard to convey that to I think young people sometimes,” Sean said.  

Multiple neighbors believe it was a group of teenagers lighting off the fireworks, and not the ones allowed in Albuquerque.

“It was like the larger fireworks that you usually see, like, you can see him from a distance away when they go up high. And they were like being set right on the ground and exploding right on the ground,” said Annabelle.  

AFR leaders say people of all ages need to follow the city’s fireworks safety rules, or more neighborhoods could experience the same over the holiday weekend.

“It’s a great holiday. We do encourage everybody to get out there and celebrate. It’s a big day. But just do it safely and try to use some common sense that helps all of us and helps your neighbors,” said Fejer.