OKLAHOMA CITY (Free Press) — Discarded fireworks were the main cause of a large number of dumpster fires and house fires over the 4th of July holiday weekend.
Officials with the Oklahoma City Fire Department (OKCFD) report that over the holiday weekend their crews put out fires in 21 dumpsters and at two homes as of 7 a.m. Monday.
“Many of those dumpster fires were confirmed caused from discarded fireworks,” Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson told Free Press in an email. He said that they don’t usually have that many dumpster fires to respond to and so it was a safe assumption that most of those were
Chief Sean Cobb told Free Press that reports from their crews of the two house fires looked to be fireworks-related, also.
“It sounds like it was individuals that went out, shot the fireworks off, and then either threw the remnants of them in a trash can or didn’t properly dispose of them,” Cobb told Free Press by phone.
Illegal use of fireworks
The City of Oklahoma City has ordinances that make it illegal to use fireworks within the city limits without a permit.
A recent notice on the City of Oklahoma City website says, “Sparklers, snakes, bottle rockets, and all other popular fireworks are included in the ban. It applies to all private and public property in Oklahoma City, including parks, lakes, and areas along the Oklahoma River.”
Typically, the only permits granted are to commercial fireworks companies that contract for fireworks displays like the one in Bricktown each year or in several of the other cities in the larger metro.
Yet, a casual drive through the metro or just stepping outside this weekend made it clear that a large number of people were using fireworks within City limits.
Celebratory gunfire was apparent in many neighborhoods leaving the question open as to where the projectiles would end up if guns were fired into the air.
Early in the weekend, the call volume to 911 about fireworks was so heavy that the Oklahoma City Police Department issued a request that all calls related to fireworks be made not to 911 but to the regular OKCPD number.
Last Updated July 5, 2021, 12:35 PM by Brett Dickerson – Editor