News | Local

Fireworks Spark Steady Stream Of Problems For Safety Officials

OPB | July 5, 2013 1:22 p.m. | Portland

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Public safety officials say they’ve fielded a steady but manageable stream of fires and accidents caused by fireworks since the start of the July 4th holiday.

Police Officer Rob Garrison confiscates illegal fireworks.  

Police Officer Rob Garrison confiscates illegal fireworks.  

Kathryn Boyd-Batstone / OPB

Portland Fire and Rescue continued working with police to crack down on illegal fireworks this year. The Fire Bureau has already issued more than 50 citations for possession or use of illegal fireworks.

Crews responded to 18 fire calls related to fireworks use. Most were grass fires or garbage fires.

Piseth Pich is a spokesman for Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue. He says the crews are on a pretty even keel for holiday runs so far, save for one blaze in West Linn.

“The residents were enjoying fireworks that are legal in Oregon but they disposed of them in a bucket without using any water. Where they placed those spent fireworks was next to their incoming gas line. That gas line ruptured and started to fuel the fire itself,” Pich said.

One incident in Northeast Portland injured four people the night of July 4th. Authorities say an illegal firework went off over the heads of several people, instead of into the air.  

Two of the injured were sent to a local hospital, where they were treated and released. 

Since fireworks are still on sale through Saturday, authorities expect a higher level of service calls through the weekend.

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