Fire departments expect annual calls from fireworks hazards

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, July 2, 2003

The Independence Day holiday is the prime time for fireworks, and stands have cropped up on the major highways in Demopolis and Linden to lure youngsters with the most spectacular and explosive bang for their buck.

Every year the Demopolis Fire Department is called out two or three times to douse grass fires caused by exploding fireworks, said Assistant Chief Joey Morgan. The current deluge of rain will hopefully cut down on grass fires. There have been to incidents with injuries reported, he said.

The City of Demopolis Fireworks Ordinance allows selling and discharging of fireworks through July 10. Selling time is 8 a.m. to midnight. No fireworks will be sold between midnight and 8 a.m.

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Discharging time is 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. There will be no fireworks discharged between 11 p.m. and 8 a.m.

The fireworks stands are often isolated, away from a main building, in case there is a fire, he said. "There are some pretty strict requirements in Alabama on fireworks stands."

Jeff Jones, who was manning Scott’s Fireworks stand Tuesday in downtown Linden, said the rain was not hurting sales. He and his brother Will argued over what product was selling the best, bottle rockets or sparklers.

Overall, calls for the Demopolis Fire Department have been down in 2003, Morgan said. They have responded to approximately 60 to 70 calls, "a fairly slow year." Firefighters have mostly assisted the public and ambulances.