NORTHRIDGE, LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Devastated residents are picking up the pieces in Northridge after a fast-moving blaze sparked by fireworks destroyed their building on the Fourth of July.
Five people suffered smoke inhalation trying to escape. Fifty people were displaced by the blaze, most losing everything they had.
Authorities say illegal fireworks caught nearby palm trees on fire, and the embers quickly ignited the apartments.
Iris Nunez said one of the residents impacted is a mother of four.
"I feel bad for her kids because the younger ones - they lost everything," Nunez said.
With most professional firework shows canceled, residents did it themselves, setting off a massive amount of explosives Saturday.
The pyrotechnics were popping all across the Southland for hours.
Firefighters responded to hundreds of brush and structure fires.
The L.A. County Fire Department broke a record with its second busiest day ever.
"For that 24-hour period of July 4, we received nearly 2,800 calls," said inspector Sky Cornell with L.A. County Fire. "Out of those 2,800, we dispatched nearly 1,700. And to put that into perspective, that's up over 350 calls from the year prior."
There were so many fireworks all across Southern California, the AQMD listed air quality in parts of L.A. and Orange County as hazardous.
Back in Northridge, residents say they couldn't believe how many fireworks were going off even as their building burned.
Blaze that displaced dozens at Northridge apartment building sparked by illegal fireworks
Devastated residents are picking up the pieces in Northridge after a fast-moving blaze sparked by fireworks destroyed their building on the Fourth of July.
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