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Authorities suspect fireworks sparked salvage yard fire near Madera

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The fire was at Smith's Wrecking Yard and the flames lit up the night sky as the fire spread from car to car. (KFSN)

Fireworks could be to blame for a fire early Sunday just south of Madera.

It sparked at Smith's Wrecking Yard and the flames lit up the night sky as the fire spread from car to car.

But moments before, it was the end of yet another day for manager Chris Smith.

"I was in the house, just got home with my baby," he said. "Put her down in the car seat. She was asleep. I heard fireworks going off, didn't think nothing of it. You hear it all the time in this area."

But when he went into the kitchen he saw the yard on fire through his window.

He then tried to put it out himself.

"I go outside, hose is too short," Smith said. "Run to get the next one. By then, it was over - spread everywhere."

Although the exact cause is still under investigation, Cal Fire says there were reports of a nearby party, setting off fireworks.

Whatever the case, Chris says this is a big hit.

"And a lot like this, this is where I grew up. This is sentimental value," he said. "You can't put a number on that and this is more than just cars and parts and scraps. This is antiques and valuables, and all kinds, my life collection."

Smith's wrecking yard is a 20-acre lot that holds up to 2,000 vehicles.

The total damage could be about $20,0000.

"I'm just grateful that I'm alive, and my daughter's alive. That's all I care about," Smith said. "That is the most important, thank God."

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firemadera countyMadera
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