LA County

Illegal Fourth of July fireworks spark blazes, cause injuries across LA County

Firefighters in the city of LA received over 2,000 calls about illegal fireworks by 11 p.m. on July 4th.

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Firefighters across Los Angeles County faced an increased number of calls following Fourth of July celebrations as illegal fireworks sparked brush fires, set trees and cars on fire, and injured people.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said by 11 p.m. Tuesday, dispatchers received more than 2,000 calls compared with around 1,700 calls on an average weekday.

NewsChopper4 captured fireworks far and wide July 4, 2023 in Los Angeles.

In Van Nuys, fire crews were sent to the 7500 block of Haskell Avenue for a tree that was set on fire. They rushed to put out the flames coming from one tree, right next to an apartment building.

“That tree started burning down. That was crazy,” a witness described the moment the fire started. “They were throwing fireworks at each other, so it wasn’t like an accident.”

Video from the scene shows some 1,000 pieces of used fireworks scattered in the middle of the street.

Another fireworks-related incident led to a small brush fire in South LA.

Images from the area of Imperial Highway and S. Broadway Street show a large group of young people running around and randomly throwing illegally fireworks on the street.  One of the sparks from the pyrotechnics ended up flying into dry vegetation in the corner.

Video from the scene shows the people who played with the fireworks running away from the scene. Firefighters were able to quickly put out the flames.

But in Porter Ranch, illegal fireworks could have led to a bigger brush fire.

Firefighters were sent to the area of 11900 Reseda Blvd. after a call was received about the fire started by a person or people playing with fireworks.

The LAFD declared a knockdown after the brush fire scorched a quarter acre of grass.

In the Vermont Vista neighborhood of South LA, a man became injured while handling illegal fireworks.

When firefighters arrived at the scene on W. 113 Street near Hoover Street before 11 p.m. Tuesday, they found a burn victim with severe facial injuries on the roadway.

Neighbors had reported that the man had been shooting off fireworks for hours before he became injured. Video from the scene shows used fireworks around on the street next to the man.   

A group of young people were seen running away from the scene after they threw illegal fireworks on the street, setting dry vegetation in the corner on fire.

According to the latest report by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 10,000 people were treated for fireworks injuries last year. And 73% of all the injuries occurred in the weeks before and after July 4.

Hands and fingers are the most injured body parts of those mishandling fireworks, according to the same report.

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