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Fireworks Caused Nine Fires in St. Charles This Year

Fire Chief Ernie Rhoads said the fire department handled incidents well, but advocates total ban on fireworks.

St. Charles responded to nine fire incidents caused by fireworks this year, triple the number they responded to last year. 

The incidents ranged from a fire in a small patch of grass to a fire in a 10 foot by 10 foot area, Chief Ernie Rhoads said.

The city went ahead with its on July 4 even though other cities opted to cancel their fireworks shows. Rhoads said they kept a close eye on the weather leading up to the holiday.

Although it was abnormally dry, the area was not in an extreme draught. 

Since there was no red flag warning, the city decided to go ahead with the fireworks. 

"We think we managed it very well," Rhoads told the council Tuesday.

Even if the city decided to ban fireworks use, the fire department would have had to plan for the possibility of fires. 

"We should ban them and get rid of them and not sell them in the city of St. Charles," he said. "It would be nice if we didn't have to worry about that."

Rhoads said the city managed the risk well during the high heat period.

Councilman Mike Weller, Ward-5, said watching the skyline from his back deck he could see four different displays between 9:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., which is down 70 percent from years past. 

"I think, overall, people did cut back and were cuatious about their yards and their neighbors," he said. 

Year # Firework Related Incidents 2003 3 2004 3 2005 13 2006

6

2007 2 2008 1 2009 0 2010 2 2011 3 2012 9
Kalen Ponche July 11, 2012 at 04:28 PM
What do you think? Should the council consider changing the law that allows fireworks to be sold in the city and used on July 3 and 4th?
Jeff L. July 12, 2012 at 03:41 PM
I believe the city should not be two faced -- as they once were. If they allow fireworks sales, they have to allow their use. They should not get sales tax and license fees, while saying the product can't be used in the city.

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