39 blazes likely due to fireworks


POSTED: Monday, July 06, 2009

Firefighters responded to 56 fires on the Fourth of July, of which 39 were probably fireworks related, said Honolulu fire Capt. Terry Seelig.

Most were small, but the spike in incidents compared with an average day underscores the danger of consumer fireworks, Seelig said.

On a typical day, the Fire Department responds to six or seven calls.

“;It's fairly apparent there's an increase in fires because people are not careful in their use of fireworks,”; he said. “;We feel that it's unacceptable to have this increased risk.”;

No structures were damaged, however, and no one was severely injured, he said.

Paramedics received no calls for fireworks-related injuries on Saturday, said Bryan Cheplic, Emergency Services Department spokesman.

The holiday had one fewer incident than the same day last year, but more fires suspected of being caused by fireworks—39 compared with 26.

The largest fire was an 8-acre brush fire Friday in Waianae.

Firefighters remained busy yesterday with at least 18 fire calls; at least two were suspected to have been started by fireworks. The most serious blaze was a wildfire near Makua Cave that took firefighters about three hours to put out.