VINELAND — A man has been charged in connection with a fire that burned more than a dozen cars and several trees, because of a lit firework.

Fourteen cars caught fire when a firework set off in the Taylor Avenue yard of Richard A. Caulford, 55, went into a salvage yard on neighboring Chestnut Avenue, according to Vineland Police.

Witnesses told police that Caulford was setting off fireworks all day, and officers found 60 explosive, canister shell-type fireworks along with paraphernalia in his yard that matched firework remnants found in the salvage yard, police said.

Vineland Deputy Fire Chief Mark Cifaloglio told the Daily Journal that firefighters who worked in shifts because of the intense heat dug a trench to help keep the fire from spreading. Police said the State Forest Fire Service helped put out the fire.

Caulford was charged with arson by recklessly placing a structure of another in danger of damage or destruction by setting off the fireworks. He was also charged with the use of dangerous fireworks.

Police did not specify the type of fireworks used by Caulford but said that examples of "dangerous fireworks" include firecrackers or salutes exceeding 5 inches in length or 3/4 of an inch in diameter, and any fireworks that contain a detonator or blasting cap.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ.

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