The Oklahoma City Fire Department responded to around 260 emergency calls on the Fourth of July, and among those, there were more fire calls than usual.
Along with other fire departments across the U.S., the Oklahoma City Fire Department prepares each year for an increase in fire-related calls during that particular holiday
“We had 22 calls we responded to from Fourth of July to the present that were either some sort of a structure fire, trash fire or grass fire and a handful of those were attributable to fireworks,” Battalion Chief Benny Fulkerson told Free Press Thursday.
But, there were some others that were suspicious because people tried so hard to put out the fire before firefighters arrived.
“It’s very common for people who know that they were lighting fireworks to try to extinguish the fire and put up fireworks before we arrive,” Fulkerson said.
“That wouldn’t be uncommon. We weren’t able to determine that was the case. But you just know in the back of your mind that that was a possibility.”
Fulkerson said the OKCFD doesn’t want to be “party poopers” on one of the most festive days each year and they are sensitive to the fact that people associate using fireworks with fun on that day.
But, there’s a reason cities and fire services try to keep a lid on the use of fireworks on every Fourth of July.
“Each year there are thousands of people who go to hospital emergency rooms with fireworks-related injuries,” said Fulkerson.
“There are millions of dollars worth of property damage each year across our nation and we’re a part of that, too.”
Fire calls July 4
Here is the breakdown of types of fire calls over July 4 and into the early hours of July 5.
The OKCFD responded to nine trash fires, one house fire, two other types of structure fires, one commercial fire, and nine grass fires.
Fulkerson provided a list of fire calls OKCFD responded to over the Fourth of July into the morning of the 5th.
- Trash – 12:08 a.m. – 12200 block Stratford Dr. – Couch on fire at curb. Cause undetermined.
- House – 2:05 a.m. – 2900 block SW. 8th – Fully involved vacant home. Total loss ($15,000) – Cause undetermined
- Trash – 2:45 a.m. – Penn / Exchange – Dumpster fire, cause undetermined
- Trash – 8:55 a.m. – 7500 block SW. 29th – Dumpster fire, cause undetermined
- Commercial – 12:56 p.m. – 3600 block SW. 29th – Fire in large auto body repair shop –
- Accidental, paint booth – $20,000 damage, no injuries
- Grass – 1:25 p.m. – 6200 block N. Santa Fe – ¼ acre burned. Cause undetermined
- Trash – 1:39 p.m. – 9500 block S. I 35 Service Rd. – Dumpster fire, cause undetermined
- Grass – 3:05 p.m. – 7200 block Canadian River Rd – No details, incident report not complete
- Trash – 7:25 p.m. – 300 block SE. 25th – Small vegetation fire, cause undetermined
- Grass – 8:13 p.m. – 1600 block N. I-44 – Small grass fire – Fireworks
- Grass – 9:04 p.m. – 12700 block N. Rockwell – Field adjacent to this address – Three acres plus hay bales on fire – Fireworks
- Grass – 9:56 p.m. – 3800 block NW. 70th – One acre, cause undetermined
- Grass – 10:04 p.m. – 16300 block N. County Line – No details, incident report not complete
- Grass – 10:05 p.m. – 1200 block SW. 39th – Bystanders extinguished prior to arrival – Cause undetermined
- Trash – 10:14 p.m. – SW. 134th / I-44 – Small fire, cause unknown
- Grass – 10:39 p.m. – 4800 block Stone Ln. – Two brush piles burning, Fireworks
- Other Structure – 10:40 p.m. – 15800 block N. Triple X Rd. – Large metal barn totally involved upon arrival – $75,000 total loss, cause undetermined but possibly electrical
- Trash – 11:17 p.m. – 1400 block Crimson Ln. – Occupants extinguished the fire before our arrival – Cause undetermined
- Trash – 11:29 p.m. – 11100 block Surrey Hills Blvd. – No details, incident report not complete
- Trash – 12:11 a.m. – 300 block SE. 23rd St. – Furniture in a trailer was on fire – Fireworks
- Grass – 12:13 a.m. – 5500 block S. Villa – Occupants extinguished prior to our arrival, cause undetermined
- Other Structure – 4:05 a.m. – 2900 block SW. 8th St. – Outbuilding on fire. $15,000 total loss. No injuries. Cause undetermined.