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At least 10 family members escape house fire in Waterbury

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WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — At least 10 family members escaped house fire in Waterbury Saturday night. One of the residents says the cause of the fire could possibly be related to fireworks going off near the home.

Flames ripped through the roof of a three-story house at 81 Walnut Street Saturday night. The house was made up of several apartment units. Outside, Michael Johnson was huddled up with several family members who live in the house. He was counting his blessings that all of his loved ones are okay.

“My mother’s over here,” Johnson said. “They’re all safe. Thank God.”

Johnson wasn’t there when it happened. But, as he got word, he raced to Walnut Street.

“I was thinking the worst,” he said.

Large, loud, booming fireworks were seen and heard going off, exploding in the sky directly above the house and fire trucks on the street.

“I wondered if they caused it,” Johnson said.

Several firefighters were seen with their flashlights inside the charred second and third floors looking for hot spots and perhaps any clues as to what started the fire. Johnson said his family may need help after the fire. He told News 8 his mother will probably stay with him for a while.

Monday, Waterbury’s Fire Chief Terrence Ballou told News 8, based on a preliminary investigation, the preliminary cause of the fire was “accidental due to electrical activity.”

Police say the fire “started in the ceiling of the basement where electrical wiring was running. It started in the basement and burned from inside out.”

Police say it could have been sparked by the number of AC units on at the same time. The Chief says it does not look like fireworks caused the fire.

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