A large fire broke destroyed the duplex at 14-16 Franklin St. in Vernon early Tuesday morning and investigators believe it was caused by improper disposal of a sparkler.
The fire started around 12:45 a.m. and flames could be seen shooting from the roof of the home when firefighters arrived. The fire went through the attic and caused the chimney and roof to collapse.
Two men and a cat were inside the duplex when the fire started and got out OK after firefighters evacuated one of residents.
"The whole top of the house was on fire and flames were shooting out the roof," Jason Chessey, a neighbor, said. "It was a pretty crazy scene but I'm glad the firefighters kept it contained and everybody got out safe."
A neighbor heard and saw fireworks going off around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. and officials were looking into whether fireworks were the cause. Vernon Fire Marshal Adam Libros said Wednesday that investigation revealed a sparkler was tossed in a plastic garbage bin next to the house. The sparker was still hot and set fire to the garbage bin, which then extended to the house.
Libros says they have ruled this fire accidental and there will be no criminal charges.
The wooden house suffered extensive damage and part of the roof collapsed, according to fire officials.