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Only one fireworks citation issued in Colorado Springs since June 30

CSPD said the ordinance is written in a way that makes it difficult for officers to ticket violators
VETS AND FIREWORKS
Posted at 9:47 AM, Jul 05, 2024

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Colorado Springs residents likely saw far more fireworks launching into the night skies this week than they bargained for.

Despite a big push from law enforcement and fire agencies leading up to the Fourth of July holiday, illegal fireworks were still prevalent around the city.

The Colorado Springs Police Department (CSPD) received 251 calls for fireworks, but only issued one citation over the last week.

CSPD said the lack of ticketing was due to a few factors, but the primary reason is the way the ordinance is written.

“Our officers have to physically see someone light the firework for them to write a citation,” said Caitlin Ford, the senior public communications specialist with CSPD, in an email. “Often, by the time our officers arrive at the call for service people are not setting them off right then so we can’t write a citation. However, we do confiscate and educate.”

On the social media site Reddit, one thread posted by a user in Colorado Springs described last night as sounding “like an active war zone outside.” The post generated hundreds of comments, with many lamenting the amount of launches and booms around the area.

"It is a joke," said homeowner Kathy Moore describing Colorado Springs police enforcement.

She said one firework landed on her hot tub cover and could have started a fire. "This is our house, we don't want to lose it from a fire that we didn't cause."

For 20 years, Moore said she has been calling police to stop her neighbors but, "they don't even bother coming by."

News5 wanted to find out if more could be done, so we reached out to city council members. Dave Donelson was the only council member available today.

He told us changing enforcement would mean passing a new city ordinance.

"What we need to do is talk with police, talk with our attorneys and find out if we can do that, would it be effective or not [and] is that something that citizens want," said Donelson.

All types of fireworks with a fuse that require a flame for ignition are illegal in Colorado Springs city limits.

Statewide, any type of fireworks that leaves the ground is illegal.

Possession, use, and sale of fireworks within Colorado Springs city limits could lead to fines up to $2,500 and/or up to 189 days in jail. Citations also demand a mandatory court appearance in municipal court.

"It is a serious problem for the community. It seems like every year we see an increased number of fireworks and a lot of questions about why aren’t you guys doing enough to enforce it,” said CSFD Deputy Fire Marshall Kris Cooper in an interview earlier this week.

On July 5, the Colorado Springs Fire Department responded to 20 firework-related fires. 7 of which were inside dumpsters according to the department. One child was injured on the 4th.

The department did say the worst injury they saw was on July 3rd when they responded to the Cheyenne Mountain Area, on scene they found a party reporting that he was holding a firework when it blew up in his hand. The department said the man lost most of his hand.

The Pueblo Fire Department reported 105 total calls on July 4th; 29 were fire-related. Two were structure fires caused by fireworks. Three were fireworks-related injuries, two traumatic hand injuries.

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Seven people and five pets displaced after duplex fire Friday evening

Seven people and five pets are displaced after a duplex fire, according to the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD).

CSFD responding to a second alarm house fire on the south west side of the city

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