Fire officials in Ventura County weren’t taking any chances Friday after dozens of people were injured during a chain reaction of accidental explosions a year ago at a Fourth of July firework show in Simi Valley.
Terri Mongiello was among more than 26 people who were injured in what firefighters referred to as a “fireworks mishap.”
“It scared me,” Mongiello said. “Now whenever I hear a fireworks show I jump.”
Residents will now be forced to stay at least 500 feet away from the firing zone at this year’s Independence Day festivities, compared to the 300-foot buffer last year.
Chad Cook of the Ventura County Fire Department said extra precautions were taken this year to prevent another accident.
“The racks are stored differently, the spacing is different they are anchored differently, and all those things in conjunction with the distance that we provided for safety should be a safer fireworks show.”
The Simi Valley Rotary Club, which puts on the show, are using the same fireworks company as last year. Bay Fireworks CEO Dennis Brady said his company has also done a lot of work to make sure the show goes off without a hitch.
“We have spent a great deal of time sourcing, researching and testing materials from a number of new fireworks manufacturers to deliver the safest, most spectacular shows possible to all of our clients nationwide,” Brady said.
The company said bad fireworks appeared to have caused the blast.