Scott Hammond / stuff
The remains of a tree in the front yard of a Blenheim house after a fire on Saturday night.
A Blenheim house had windows and a blackened gutter from a tree fire, which was thought to be triggered by fireworks.
The near-miss for the hired High St home on Saturday raises the annual debate about whether firecrackers should be allowed in for public sale, leading to Guy Fawkes on Monday night.
The Blenheim resident Sarah Anderson, who rents the High Street house that was almost on fire, was in Nelson on Saturday night when she received a call from her neighbor who said a fire was burning in a tree in front of her house.
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She was initially worried about her truck she had left in the driveway and a trailer parked under the tree.
Neighbors thought Anderson and her children could be home and broke in to make sure no one was inside. They also moved Anderson's trailer and truck.
Eight panes of glass at the front of the house had jumped.
Anderson was told that there were two parties in the area, one next door and one over the street, and both had sparked fireworks.
She did not support the public sale of firecrackers: "There is too much stupidity when it comes to firecrackers."
Neighbor Sarah Burdon said, "Alcohol and fireworks are not working," and the two were definitely combined on Saturday night.
"The first time I heard people running around in my house shouting" Fire, go out, "Burdon said.
"We went through the door and we could see the sparks and the embers flying in. We freaked out that the house would catch fire.
"All you could see was people and flames, fortunately it was just a tree and not your whole house."
"There were drunken teenagers everywhere," she said.
Blenheim Brigade fire chief Nigel Botham said the tree was well-behaved on arrival and caused superficial damage to the house.
"The speculation is fireworks, but we did not investigate that," Botham said. "It could have been a lot worse."
Bystanders used a garden hose to extinguish the fire, Botham said.
People who wanted to use fireworks for Guy Fawkes on Monday night should use it safely and in an open area, he said.
"If it's windy, do not do it, wet the area you're putting fireworks on, common sense must prevail," he said.
Burdon said that the use of firecrackers in public could be okay if they were not put into "Stormwind".
"And if it is monitored and you have water at hand, which they clearly have not done.
But he said public fireworks were ideal.
In Marlborough people are allowed to make fireworks in their garden. Resource approval is required to dispose fireworks on land owned by the Council.
Fire and Distress New Zealand urged the public to act responsibly when this fellow Fawkes used firecrackers after a series of weekend incidents.
Peter Gallagher, national fire risk management consultant, said crews responded to more than 56 fire events nationwide from Friday to Sunday.
"Unfortunately, we've seen a series of incidents of fireworks being abused and causing big fires," said Gallagher.
"Fireworks can be fun, but they can also be dangerous and pose a high fire risk, so we need the public to use them responsibly."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last week that there are no current plans to ban the public sale of firecrackers.
– Do not light fireworks in windy or dry conditions.
– Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions carefully before using fireworks.
– Light your fireworks in a wide open area, away from anything that could ignite, such as dry grass, leaves or crops, or flammable gases or liquids.
– Have a bucket of water, a hose or a fire extinguisher ready.
– Set up fireworks on the sky, not at your comrades.