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Queens homeowner says patrons of nearby restaurant lit his house on fire with illegal fireworks

Queens homeowner says illegal fireworks caused house fire
Queens homeowner says illegal fireworks caused house fire 02:02

NEW YORK -- A Queens homeowner says illegal fireworks set his house on fire.

He blames customers of a nearby restaurant, saying they were being reckless.

As CBS2's Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Wednesday, had fast-thinking neighbors not stepped in, the damage could've been much worse.

The Khan family never expected the Fourth of July celebrations happening outside their house to get out of control.

"Next thing, my little son is banging on the door: 'Dad, dad, wake up, wake up.' 'What happened son?' 'The house is on fire,'" Khan said.

Khan says after 9 p.m. patrons of a restaurant, which has a back patio that runs up to his home on 118th Street in Richmond Hill, were setting off illegal fireworks.

"All I saw when I opened the window, I push my head out, there was fire on the wall," Khan said.

"I saw a lot of people from there running inside and I just saw fireworks sparking, so I thought something must've happened. Then I saw the owner who said, 'Call 911,'" witness Will Hernandez said.

Hernandez works at a nearby store.

"I stepped out and then we grabbed the hose, the water hose from downstairs. She went out and turned it on. We tried to do as much as we can before the firefighters got there," Hernandez said.

Quick-thinking good Samaritans kept the flames contained to the siding. Firefighters then made sure they didn't spread any further.

Thankfully, no one was injured, but Khan said those responsible ran away, adding it's not the first time restaurant patrons have caused a nuisance for neighbors.

"You can't rest. The noise, the constant noise, the constant cursing, the marijuana smoking, the smell on the place," Hernandez said.

CBS2 left a message for the restaurant owner. Meanwhile, Khan has been left to foot the bill for repairs.

"These guys can do anything. We're still scared, but I'm not afraid to talk," Khan said.

Khan said if it happened once, it could happen again, adding he has called 311 numerous time to complain, and after this incident filed a police report, hoping authorities can address the issue once and for all.

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