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Law & Justice

Thirteen Fires Started By Fireworks Around July Fourth In Boise

Julio Cortez
AP Photo
Fireworks explode over the Hudson River during the Jersey City Fourth of July fireworks celebration, Tuesday, July 4, 2017.

After controversy over legal vs illegal fireworks in Idaho in the run up to the July Fourth holiday, the Boise Fire Department reports they did respond to fires over the long weekend caused by fireworks.

BFD reports 13 fires on July 4 and July 5. Four were started by fireworks, and five are still under investigation. That is a drop from last year when ten fires were started by fireworks.

One of this year’s fires burned an apartment building on Lakeharbor Lane, damaging five apartments and displacing residents. The fire department believes that fire was caused by fireworks and reports young teenagers were setting off fireworks in the area before the fire.

Meanwhile, the Spokesman Review reports Ada County Sheriff’s dispatchers reported 392 calls about illegal fireworks over the four-day holiday weekend.

Since last year’s Table Rock Fire in the Boise Foothills was sparked by illegal fireworks, Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan and other fire officials around Idaho have been campaigning against aerial bottle rockets and Roman candles. Doan says aerial fireworks are “unsafe for our community and for our firefighters.” An opinion released by the Idaho Attorney General’s office before July Fourth said aerial fireworks can only be sold to someone with a permit for a public display or event.

Some law enforcement officials interpreted that to mean anything but “safe and sane” fireworks can’t be sold to the general public without the special permit. Sellers disagree, saying they can sell aerial fireworks, which are illegal to set off in Idaho, if buyers promise not to light them off in the Gem State.

BFD says families who lost their apartments to Wednesday morning's Lakeharbor fire are getting motel rooms paid for by the Boise Fire Department Burnout Fund.

Find Samantha Wright on Twitter @samwrightradio

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