Metro employees clean up "illegal and dangerous" fireworks - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro employees clean up "illegal and dangerous" fireworks

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The fire department says there were 28 firework runs Thursday night -- and there would have been more if it wasn't raining in Jefferson County. The fire department says there were 28 firework runs Thursday night -- and there would have been more if it wasn't raining in Jefferson County.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Illegal and dangerous. That's what the Louisville Fire Department is calling some fireworks that were used in Jefferson County last night.

On Friday morning, Metro Parks employees were raking up debris in Petersburg Park, where fire officials say illegal fireworks were used.

The fire department says there were 28 firework runs last night -- and there would have been more if it wasn't raining in Jefferson County.

Kentucky state law allows the sale of most fireworks, but it also allows cities and counties to ban the sale if they choose.

Authorities say fireworks that shoot in the air or explode are illegal in Jefferson County. That includes firecrackers, roman candles and bottle rockets. Legal fireworks include fountains and sparklers.

Despite that, people still lit those illegal fireworks until the early morning hours. Fire crews know they will continue over the weekend, but remind residents that fireworks must be 200 feet away from homes or other structures. You have to be 18 years old to light fireworks in Kentucky and Indiana. If they injure someone or start fires, you can face charges.

"There were extraordinary things that we heard last night that, typically, we haven't ever heard before," said Maj. Henry Ott. "They are even larger than what is on Thunder over Louisville, for instance. When you get those type devices, there is all kind of things that can go wrong."

Sharon Horton walks at Petersburg Park a lot and is seeing the big mess. She says, "I think people had been in all day and just wanted to get out and have fun."

There was so much fireworks debris at the park, that Metro Parks had already unloaded one entire truck full of fireworks remnants. They had to come back and fill up another truck.

Major Ott says people often won't be charged with violating the city's fireworks ordinance, but instead could face more serious charges like wanton endangerment or arson.

Ott says, "You've got all these devices that are illegal that can cause fires and people think it's funny to shoot at each other or fire it at neighbor's house."

Back at Petersburg Park, crews finished the first half of the park by mid-day, but say it will take hours just to pick the rest of the debris up.

Horton says, "It was a lot. But they came and cleaned it up, so that's what counts. It is a lot."

Copyright 2013 by WDRB News. All rights reserved.

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