RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Richmond Fire Department confiscated more than $2,000 in illegal fireworks this Fourth of July.
The department says it’s not the first time they’ve deployed teams to look for illegal fireworks on July 4th.
“This is the first time we were actually able to catch people in the act or prior to doing it,” Lieutenant Chris Armstrong with Richmond Fire explained.
The fire department was dispatched to over 80 calls while Richmond Police were dispatched to over 60 calls for illegal fireworks Tuesday night.
Armstrong says when people use illegal fireworks it can pull resources away from another potential emergency.
“Because resources are tied up on a fireworks call, then they are not there to be able to put out a fire or answer a medical response call for someone that is having a medical emergency,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong says there was one fire started in Richmond near the river as a result of fireworks. A house fire in Chesterfield County was also blamed on fireworks. Armstrong says thankfully no one was hurt, but he says nationwide there are about 18,000 calls a year because of fireworks.
“10,000 of those calls are EMS calls for people that have to go to the hospital as a result of an injury,” Armstrong added.
Besides being dangerous Armstrong, says it’s illegal and violators could face hefty fines. In total, five people were issued summonses Tuesday for illegal fireworks.