FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Some Tower District residents, including a man with Leukemia, are without homes after a fire started by an illegal firework ripped through several houses on the Fourth of July.

On Monday night, witnesses say that the inferno started when a firework hit a palm tree near Farris and Thomas avenues.

Helmet cam video showed the terrifying moments as the blaze exploded, ignited several homes, and then blew a transformer.

“When that blew it sounded like a bomb going off I mean it was scary,” said Candance Fowler, who lives in one of the homes that went up in flames.

Fowler and her husband, who is battling leukemia, are without a home. Fowler said just a couple of days ago, the two paid their bills for the month with his social security check.

The two are now displaced and say they are afraid.

“I hope whoever did this pays for this because a lot of people lost everything,” said Fowler.

The fire affected at least three homes, according to the fire department.

On the 4th, Fresno City Fire crews were called to over 230 incidents, and nearly 90 fires.

That is a 40% increase in call volume compared to a normal day.

The department responded to 21 fewer calls compared to the previous 4th of July, but there were four more fires this year.

Deputy Fire Marshall Jay Tracy showed our station the illegal fireworks that were confiscated. In just three hours, he said the department handed out around three dozen illegal firework citations.

“When we tell you they are dangerous and they start fires, they actually do,” said Tracy. “We have multiple people in the tower now that are affected by a fire that was started by an illegal firework.”

The city doubled fines this year, but the hefty fine didn’t deter some residents from lighting fuses. Fowler blames those people for the destruction.

The aftermath of the house fire on Farris and Thomas avenues.

“This was senseless, they didn’t need to do all that,” said Fowler.

The Red Cross is helping Fowler and her husband financially after the fire.

The Fresno County Fire Department confiscated 1,200 pounds of illegal fireworks on the 4th of July. The department issued one citation for illegal fireworks and responded to 23 fires over the holiday weekend.

Those fireworks are sent to the state fire marshal[l and then sent to another state to be destroyed. The individual departments said that locally the fireworks cannot be destroyed because they pollute the air.