An increase in fireworks complaints – specifically those of the illegal variety – had Escalon Police on the go over the holiday weekend. Luckily, there were no fires attributed to the use of the aerial fireworks and though loud and disconcerting for many, the displays didn’t result in any major incidents.
“There were a couple of people that got cited and some fireworks seized,” said Escalon Police Chief Rob Lackey. “Most of them, though, were the ‘light it and run’ variety.”
In those cases, by the time the police can respond to the area where the complaint originated, those using the fireworks are no longer in the area or it can’t be determined who was responsible.
“It was a little more rampant this year,” Lackey added of the use of the illegal fireworks as opposed to the locally sold Safe and Sane type.
While the legal fireworks booths did good business and many residents did use the fire marshal-approved Safe and Sane type that don’t leave the ground, there was an abundance of illegals being set off as well.
This week’s report from the police department indicates about a half dozen fireworks complaints on Friday, July 3 beginning shortly before 9:30 p.m.
On Saturday, July 4, officers logged more than 15 calls from residents reporting seeing or hearing aerial fireworks, starting just after 8 p.m.
The calls came from areas including La Mesa and Brennan, Miller and Jill, basically at locations all around the city.
“Absolutely miraculous that we had no fires,” pointed out Fire Chief Rick Mello. “It was very disappointing, the number of illegal fireworks that were out there.”
Officials speculate that the lack of the usual staged displays hosted at different venues around the Central Valley likely was the driving factor in residents obtaining and setting off the illegal fireworks.
“We were very fortunate,” Mello said of escaping the long holiday weekend without a fire due to the illegal aerial displays.