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South Metro Fire responded to 45 fires overnight, most caused by fireworks

fire at east entrance to cherry creek state park july 3 2024
Posted at 12:59 PM, Jul 05, 2024

CENTENNIAL, Colo. — South Metro Fire Rescue crews responded to 45 fires, most of which were caused by fireworks, between 6 p.m. and midnight on July 4.

The fire department added that one adult was seriously injured and one child had minor injuries from two separate incidents involving fireworks. Both were transported to a hospital for treatment and no other details were readily available on those cases.

South Metro Fire Rescue covers about 300 square miles of Arapahoe, Douglas and Jefferson counties, including the communities of Bow Mar, Castle Pines, Centennial, Cherry Hills Village, Columbine Valley, Foxfield, Greenwood Village, Littleton, Lone Tree, Parker, Castle Pines Village, Highlands Ranch and Louviers.

One of the incidents they responded to included a grass fire near the east entrance to Cherry Creek State Park. That fire was contained to about a quarter of an acre by 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

fire at east entrance to cherry creek state park july 3 2024

Fire investigators are working to determine if the fire was sparked by fireworks or something else.

The incidents continued into Friday morning.

Early Friday, crews responded to a firework-caused grass fire along a trail near the 4400 block of E. Quincy Avenue. The fire grew to about 150 feet by 150 feet and was fully contained around 6 a.m.

Brush fire near BELLAIR CIRCLE AND E QUINCY AVE_July 5 2024

Witnesses told South Metro Fire Rescue that they heard a loud boom before seeing smoke.

Authorities said they found a firework on the trail.

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Thinking of using fireworks this weekend? Doctors say you should think again.
Dr. Benson Pulikkottil, medical director at the burn and reconstruction center at Swedish Medical Center, explained that the hospital sees injuries every year from fireworks. He recalled a few years back when a patient came to the hospital after holding a firework too long. It had exploded in his hand, causing massive injuries.

“Your best fireworks show is a professional's worst show. So no matter how good you think your show is going to be, it's never going to be as awesome as you think. And it comes in with a lot of risk," he told Denver7.

Hear more from him in our report below.

Thinking of using fireworks this weekend? Here's why doctors say you should think again

Around Colorado, many types of fireworks are illegal, though it varies by county and city. Police departments often field a large number of complaints, but it typically doesn't add up to much citation-wise.

Jay Casillas with the Denver Police Department told Scripps News that in 2023, his department was called 1,930 times about fireworks in the three weeks leading up to the Fourth of July, but officers only handed out four citations.

Police have higher-priority calls to respond to, he explained.

Despite high numbers of calls, citations regarding fireworks remain low

The same sort of situation plays out across the country.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that about 9,700 people were treated in emergency rooms due to firework-related injuries in 2023. Eight people died due to an incident involving fireworks last year.

In its report released in late June, the commission found “between 2008 and 2023, injuries from fireworks have increased overall” with numbers peaking in 2020, Scripps News reported. Teens 15 to 19 years old were the highest demographic to be hospitalized, with kids 5 to 9 years old right behind.

Colorado Springs fireworks 2024.jpg

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