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Firework related calls to police more than double in June

(WCAX)
Published: Jun. 22, 2020 at 6:04 PM CDT
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It's still more than two weeks away from the Fourth of July, and two weeks from the time fireworks are allowed to be used in Lincoln. But that's not stopping people from starting early.

10/11 NOW is hearing reports from both people and police that firework use is on the rise.

One of those people is Deb Kendle, who lives in northeast Lincoln. She said she loves fireworks.

"I look forward to it every year," Kendle said.

But what she doesn't like is being woken up at midnight every night.

"It's not your typical firework," Kendle said. "This one will startle you awake from a dead sleep. It shakes the windows at night and you can feel the floor vibrate."

Her experience isn't unique. 10/11 NOW asked viewers on Facebook if they've been hearing more fireworks than usual at this time of year.

In the span of a few hours more than 300 people commented, many said they too have heard loud fireworks go off.

Lincoln Police statistics back this up. Between June 1 and June 22, they've investigated 80 firework related calls for service. The average they'd get in that same time frame is about 34 calls.

"As you sit out at night you hear a lot of fireworks being used already," Chief Fire Inspector Bill Moody said. "This is happening earlier than normal."

Moody guessed that Lincoln people are tired of being cooped up in their homes and looking for entertainment. But city laws mandate that fireworks can only be sold and used in Lincoln on July 3 and 4.

"To avoid complaints and injuries," Moody said. "We see fires caused by them and injuries caused by fireworks. It's not something we support as a fire official but we tolerate them over the Fourth of July because it's tradition."

To report an illegal firework to the police, call 402-441-6000. Officers said it's best if callers include the exact address e firework came from so they can properly investigation.

Police said people who violate that city code could face a fine of up to $500.

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