Minor fire on Ross Street started by fireworks, firefighters say

Thursday, March 14, 2013 | 6:43 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A fire at 1401 Ross St., started by fireworks set off from a passing car, charred a deck and some siding Thursday afternoon. 

Resident Mary Roope said bystanders told her they saw a man in a pink shirt riding in a white car set off fireworks near the two-story white house. 

Roope and her roommate Catherine Beehler said the home and trees in the yard were covered in toilet paper the night before, which they thought was a prank, but now wonder who did it and why.

Jerry Jenkins, Columbia Fire Department division chief, said five vehicles and two chief officers responded to the fire around 2 p.m. Bystanders extinguished the fire on the home's porch, but the mulch surrounding the structure was still smoldering afterward, Jenkins said. 

The fire caused minimal damage to the structure, and Jenkins said the eight MU students who rent the home can safely return to the building. 

Fire marshals and the Columbia Police Department will produce a report and try to determine who set off the fireworks. 

"If they find them, they'll go through an investigation process," Jenkins said.

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