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Updated: 6:11 p.m. Thursday, July 5, 2012 | Posted: 2:02 p.m. Thursday, July 5, 2012
LAWRENCEVILLE, Pa. —
Fire investigators ruled that a house fire in Lawrenceville early Thursday morning was caused by illegal fireworks.
Officials said a neighbor saw the roof of a house on fire along Ligonier Street just after midnight.
The neighbor ran to the house and alerted the family inside. Officials said six people safely escaped the house.
“It was horrible. You hear about it all the time, but you never think it’s going to be you,” victim Colleen Dopfeld said.
Dopfeld said she’s grateful her children survived the fire and thankful for the neighbor who alerted them.
“All of a sudden the one neighbor was banging on our door and we thought an intruder was coming or something,” Dopfeld said. “She told us the house was on fire and we were all scrambling to get out.”
According to investigators, Jeffrey Flynn, 51, was setting off illegal fireworks nearby, which caused the blaze.
Officials said Flynn originally tried to put out the fire with a hose, but the flames were too strong.
Police said Flynn admitted to using fireworks and that other neighbors had asked him to stop. He told officers that if he caused the fire he would deal with the consequences.
Authorities said Flynn faces possible jail time for the eight criminal counts related to the fire and illegal fireworks.
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