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Fireworks likely sparked Independence Day blaze

By Crystal Burns

Trenton firefighters believe fireworks are to blame for an Independence Day blaze that destroyed a vacant home.

Trenton Fire Chief Terrence Elam said based on what firefighters learned on the scene Tuesday night, children were engaged in a “war” with fireworks when some may have sought refuge in the house on East Second Street.

“We think they were probably playing around on the inside,” Elam said.

Firefighters arrived at the home, located across from the former Rosenwald High School, before 9 p.m. and saw fireworks coming out of the windows in the vacant structure. Elam said Trenton and Gibson County firefighters used defensive tactics to contain the fire. It took about three-and-half hours to get the fire under control, he said.

Gibson County’s Ryan Shanklin, an arson investigator, is scheduled to look at the house this week to verify the cause of the fire.

No injuries were reported, and Elam said he expects the fire to be ruled an accident. Homeowners are Isaiah and Bertha Wells of Trenton.

Anyone who may have witnessed any suspicious activity in the area is asked to call the Trenton Police Department at 855-1413.

Elam said that while firefighters were engaged in the blaze, the department received a medical call and a wreck. The two-car wreck occurred on the Milan Highway. No one was hurt, Elam said.

“We were pretty stretched out trying to cover all three [incidents],” Elam said.

At the June 27 City Council meeting, the Board of Aldermen approved Elam’s recommendation to hire one fulltime and one temporary part-time firefighter to help fill the gaps this summer and fall.

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