LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The Fourth of July weekend showed that fireworks continue to be an issue locally.
Lancaster Bureau of Fire Chief Scott Little said over the holiday weekend, he got the most fireworks complaints he’s ever gotten. “It sounds like a war zone happening in Lancaster.”
The illegal use of fireworks is blamed on a fire that happened on New Dorwart Street Saturday night. Little said crews found fireworks within 30 feet of the home, which led to an estimated $100,000 worth of damages to the home.
He also said the heat from the fire caused damage to five other buildings. Little said as firefighters were putting out the fire, other firework debris was landing on a fire department car.
“As city leaders across the commonwealth, we’re fed up with the amount of issues that have been contributed to fireworks in our communities,” he said.
Little said that fire departments are fighting a battle they can’t win because of the 2017 law that made it legal for Pennsylvania residents to buy consumer-grade fireworks.
The City of Lancaster is now trying a new approach to make the fireworks stop. The city has released a two-minute public service announcement about fireworks laws and the dangers associated with them.
The video calls for lawmakers to end the sale of consumer-grade fireworks and argues that the boost in tax revenue caused by firework sales is not going to cities that are strained responding to the problems they cause.
“Lancaster is no different than any other community or any other municipality experiencing these issues with fireworks,” Little said. “It comes to down to the fact we want to keep our cities safe.”