Fireworks warning in LA

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(CNS) – With the July Fourth holiday less than a week away, police and fire officials have begun cautioning the public about the risks of injury and fire posed by illegal fireworks. Those risks will be the subject of a news conference and professional pyrotechnic display this morning at the Los Angeles Fire Department’s training center on Stadium Way.

The chiefs of the Los Angeles city and county fire departments were scheduled to be on hand, along with Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck, Sheriff Lee Baca, a supervisor from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, representatives from the Grossman Burn Center, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky.

Sheriff’s deputies earlier this week seized more than 8,000 pounds of fireworks worth about $20,000 in a storage facility in Norwalk. A tip led deputies to warehouse-style storage business in the 10900 block of Firestone Boulevard, where a gunpowder-sniffing dog found 91 cases — enough to fill a stake-bed truck — of fireworks about 11:25 a.m. Tuesday, according to Lt. Dana Chemnitzer of the Los Angeles County sheriff’s Norwalk station.

Long Beach police and fire department officials, meanwhile, are warning residents and visitors that all fireworks, including those branded “safe and sane,” are illegal in that city.

Anyone cited for possessing or discharging fireworks, even sparklers, faces a $1,000 fine, six months in jail, or both, according to a department statement, which says the city’s 40-year-old fireworks ordinance is more strict than those of surrounding communities.

Long Beach police will be mounting heavy patrols along the city’s waterfront, and collection bins will be placed at all fire and police stations and lifeguard headquarter for voluntary disposal of fireworks.


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