Man frustrated after Queens home set ablaze by illegal fireworks from nearby July 4th party

Kemberly Richardson Image
Tuesday, July 5, 2022
Exclusive: Man frustrated after house set on fire by illegal fireworks
Fed up and frustrated, Shariff Khan talked exclusively to Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson after illegal fireworks set his home on fire during Fourth of July celebrations on Monday.

RICHMOND HILL, Queens (WABC) -- A family in Queens learned about the dangers of setting off illegal fireworks when their home went up in flames Monday during Fourth of July celebrations.

The family's house was hit with a powerful firework from a party happening next door outside a bodega, and flames quickly spread to the upstairs of the home.

Fed up and frustrated, Shariff Khan talked exclusively to Eyewitness News reporter Kemberly Richardson after firefighters rushed to his home.

"Fire on the wall, and the plastic was boiling and melting, dropping down, dropping down," Khan said.

It's tough to make out, but in a video, you can see flames and hear even more fireworks going off as crews check for hot spots.

ALSO READ | Good Samaritan tries to save man seen jumping in Hudson River

A Good Samaritan tried to save a man seen jumping into the Hudson River.

The Fourth of July party that went terribly wrong, unfolded behind a restaurant on 101st Avenue in the Richmond Hill section of Queens.

Even on Tuesday, there were clear signs that there was a gathering which included fireworks.

"It wasn't small firecrackers, these were like boom, the house was shaking," neighbor Eddie Badillo said.

Khan and his family are fine but worry that had they not been home Monday night, they could have lost everything.

He and others here say this isn't the first time they've had problems with the eatery, which opens in the afternoon and closes early the next morning.

"They party here every day like it's a free-for-all," Badillo said.

"I called 311 because of the garbage, the stink, the rodents and even talked to them, but they're not people who want to listen to what you have to say, they are arrogent," Khan said.

The eatery had no comment.

Khan is hoping someone sees this and does something. He's lived here for more than a decade.

"I'm not afraid, I'm not afraid, this is my livelihood, I live here, I worked for this, no one gave this to me, I worked for this," Khan said.


* More Queens news

* Send us a news tip

* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts

* Follow us on YouTube

Submit a tip or story idea to Eyewitness News

Have a breaking news tip or an idea for a story we should cover? Send it to Eyewitness News using the form below. If attaching a video or photo, terms of use apply.