Firefighters, police overwhelmed by illegal fireworks - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Firefighters, police overwhelmed by illegal fireworks

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Illegal fireworks in a Las Vegas Valley neighborhood in this image from July 4, 2016. (Source: FOX5) Illegal fireworks in a Las Vegas Valley neighborhood in this image from July 4, 2016. (Source: FOX5)

Police and firefighters were overwhelmed by the number of illegal fireworks set off on the Fourth of July.

In the northwest Valley, there was an explosion that resulted in a young girl suffering second- and third-degree burns to 50 percent of her body.

Only the “safe and sane” fireworks are legal to use in Clark County, but in many instances that law wasn't enforced. In addition to the explosion in the northwest, illegal fireworks caused a brush fire at Whitey Mesa Nature Preserve in Henderson.

“I now know what it’s like to live in a war zone,” said one caller to The Rant.

“It is 12:14 on July 5. Illegal fireworks are going off all over the place, all over the Valley,” said another.

“In my 20 years of going out on calls this is the most illegal fireworks I’ve ever seen,” said Tim Szymanski with Las Vegas Fire and Rescue.

Szymanski said police are tasked with citing people who launch illegal fireworks. With everything going on during the holiday, it was a difficult task.

“I think if you brought every police officer on duty and told them to go out, they wouldn’t be able to write citations for everybody out there because there’s literally thousands of thousands of people across the Valley,” Szymanski said. “What would be easier is if people would just cooperate and just follow the law.”

Szymanski said people clearly feel comfortable breaking the law.

“I think that’s something that we have to look at. If there are no consequences for your behavior, I can just go ahead and do it because nothing will happen,” he said.

Szymanski said he doesn’t see things changing until something drastic happens.

“Somebody will end up losing their life, or there will be severe consequences like several people losing their homes. It just seems like, unfortunately, that’s what it would take,” he said.

Szymanski said people were lighting illegal fireworks down the street from where firefighters were working to put out fires.

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