NewsCovering Colorado


West Metro firefighters responded to 29 fires in a span 8 hours on 4th of July; most were due to fireworks

The agency said their firefighters had a “busy night” as they responded to multiple fires on the 4th of July
A fan watches a Fourth of July fireworks display after a baseball game
Posted at 1:03 PM, Jul 05, 2024

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Firefighters across the Denver metro had a busy Fourth of July, with crews from West Metro Fire Rescue responding to more than two dozen fires, most of them caused by people setting off fireworks at night.

In a social media post on X, formerly Twitter, West Metro fire officials said one of the calls crews responded to involved a structure fire where the family “improperly disposed of spent fireworks” by throwing them in a trash can in the garage. That fire caused minor damage, they said.

In all, West Metro Fire officials said they responded to 29 fires between 6 p.m. Thursday and 2 a.m. Friday.

The fire department warned the 300,000 residents the agency protects in Lakewood, Morrison, Golden, Wheat Ridge and Edgewater to think before lighting up a firework over the weekend, as fire danger would be high in the area for the next few days.

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


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

Stephanie Butzer
9:03 AM, Jul 05, 2024

West Metro Fire’s announcement came hours South Metro Fire Rescue officials said crews responded to 45 fires, most of which were caused by fireworks, between 6 p.m. and midnight.

In that district, one adult was seriously injured and a child suffered minor injuries from two separate incidents involving fireworks. Both were transported to a hospital for treatment but their conditions were not immediately known.

At least one grass fire crews responded to was sparked by fireworks, officials said. That fire, located along the High Line Canal Trail along E. Quincy Ave. near the intersection with S. Colorado Blvd., grew to about 150x150 feet before it was fully contained by about 6 a.m. Friday.


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.

Are fireworks illegal in Colorado?

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.