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Illegal fireworks keep fire, police busy over holiday

POSTED July 6, 2012 9:51 p.m.

The Turlock fire and police personnel tasked with finding illegal fireworks were kept busy during the Independence Day holiday.

Turlock Fire Marshal Mark Gomez said the team made between 15 to 20 confiscations of illegal fireworks over the holiday.

“We were kept very busy,” Gomez said.

The only fireworks that are legal in Turlock are those approved by the State Fire Marshal, which carry the Safe and Sane logo. Piccolo Petes and/or Whistling Petes are illegal in Turlock, as are any fireworks that have been modified or altered. This includes fireworks which fly into the air or explode. Gomez said most of the confiscated fireworks were of the aerial variety.

Some of the illegal fireworks were confiscated in neighborhoods that had received the fire department’s permission to close off some streets for block parties.

“It was a bit disappointing that some of the block parties that we allowed to close streets took advantage of the situation by setting off illegal fireworks,” Gomez said. “Next year we’ll have to take a new look at who we allow to set up the block parties and close off the streets.”

Fireworks — one legal and one illegal — caused two small fires Wednesday night. Gomez said the damage was minimal at both sites and one was extinguished with a garden hose.

“We got lucky in that respect,” Gomex said.

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