Kids Lighting Fireworks Spark Colo. Blaze

GREELEY, Colo. --

Two children playing with fireworks ignited a fire that gutted a Greeley apartment building, displacing three families on the Fourth of July, fire officials said.

The two-alarm fire was reported at 2:34 p.m. in a two-story apartment building at 1739 7th Ave., Greeley Fire Division Chief Dale Lyman said.

The two children, who were about 10 years old, were playing with a combination of fireworks, both legal and illegal types in Colorado, he said.

A bush caught fire, and the flames spread to the apartment's front porch, Lyman said. The fire worked its way into the walls and traveled into the attic.

It took firefighters, sweltering in 90-degree heat, about 90 minutes to put out the fire hidden inside walls and the attic, Lyman said.

Two dogs died in the fire; no people were injured, he said.

The building was uninhabitable, and the Red Cross was helping about 10 displaced residents find temporary housing, Lyman said.

The children, their parents or guardians could face charges, Lyman said. But police are conducting that investigation.

Two unrelated ground fires erupted as crews fought the apartment fire, he said. But Greeley fire crews were stretched so thin, they had to summon help from two neighboring agencies.

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