Fireworks blazes burn ranch buildings, hay

SEATTLE — Flames from Fourth of July fireworks damaged homes across Western Washington and destroyed some ranch housing near Harrah on the Yakama Indian Reservation, causing more than $2 million in damage.

Four homes were damaged by a fire blamed on fireworks in Covington, southeast of the city.

Outside the Red Wind Casino near Yelm, families scattered after a malfunctioning firework landed in a car trunk loaded with pyrotechnics, but no one was injured as the fireworks went off.

Nineteen people were homeless following the blaze Friday night in Harrah, which destroyed several buildings and burned a few hundred tons of hay.

In Covington, fireworks set some juniper bushes ablaze in front of a two-story house and fire spread to the siding, then the attic space and into the dwelling. Embers thrown into the air from that blaze then set three other nearby houses on fire.

A person has been cited for the Covington fire, police said. Officers said the fireworks were legal but were discharged in a dangerous manner.

The fire in Harrah was traced to a young boy lighting fireworks inside a building behind Caribou Ranches.

Firefighters say the flames spread rapidly through nearly 100-year-old buildings that served as housing for ranch workers and their families. The blaze left 19 people homeless.

Fire Capt. Landon Lommers estimated the damage at $800,000.

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