Family who lost everything from fireworks asking people to be mindful this Fourth

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MONROE, Wash. -- Snohomish county officials say the Fourth of July last year was the most hectic in the county’s history. Fire officials are worried about a repeat this coming Monday.

It’s a new beginning for the Miller family.

“We are going to try to piece life back together,” Marta Miller said.

They’re finally moving back into their home in Monroe after fireworks burned it to the ground last Fourth of July.

“We heard a loud boom and we went outside and the house was on fire. If we were asleep, who knows if we had made it out alive?” Miller said.

While there hasn’t been an official ruling, Miller said she saw kids next door playing around with fireworks.

“I wouldn’t want to carry that burden around; they never came forward,” Miller said.

But she isn’t angry, just vigilant, hoping people will stay away from fireworks.

Firefighters are echoing the same thing but if you choose to play with fireworks, firefighters say do it carefully.

“Have your garden hose turned on and near where you will have fireworks,” Battalion Chief Ryan Lundquist said.

“One of the most dangerous things are the dud fireworks so that when someone lights something it doesn’t go off the way they think, they will they walk up to it and relight,” Lundquist said.

Lundquist with Snohomish Fire District 7 has extra employees, brush fire rigs and ladder trucks ready.

“It definitely can be crazy and its certainly weather dependent,” Lundquist said.

They want families using fireworks this year to prepare for the worst.

“Teach your children before hand to stop drop and roll if their clothing does catch on fire,” Lundquist said.

Last Fourth of July, firefighters across the state struggled with an 11% increase in fire injuries and incidents.

All it takes is a split-second for things to go wrong and Miller knows that too well.

“If my story can help one other family it’s worth it,” Miller said.

Lundquist also says this weekend would be a good time for all of us to clear brush, clean gutters and wet down our roofs in time for Monday.