Nassau police, fire marshal demonstrate hazards of illegal fireworks

Stacey Sager Image
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Nassau County police and fire marshal held a demonstration at Eisenhower Park to show the danger of fireworks when handled improperly. Stacey Sager has the story.

NASSAU COUNTY (WABC) -- Every year it's a tale of two shows the beautiful fireworks, which are authorized, and the illegal bursts of explosives in heavily populated streets

Displays that never seem to end well for the non-professionals putting on their own 4th of July shows.

"Either they're gonna blow their face off when they stick their face down over the top of it, because they think it went off already," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. "Or they're gonna turn around and burn their hand off. Or hit somebody's neighbor or a house fire"

Nassau County police and fire marshal held a demonstration at Eisenhower Park to show the danger of fireworks when handled improperly.

Bits of watermelon and chicken shrapnel serve as a reminder of what these colorful explosives could do to the human body.

"Leave it to the professionals," Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman said. "There's gonna be plenty of fireworks ceremonies here in Eisenhower Park, and throughout the region."

Crews began placing 2,000 mortars earlier this week for a show this Friday by Grucci Fireworks expected to last for 20 minutes.

"It kicks off the weekend," Phil Grucci of Grucci Fireworks said. "This is the kickoff for the weekend nationally for our family. So, we're very proud to be here."

But authorities, are reminding people in the coming days to not bring fireworks that may be legal upstate down here.

ALSO READ | Where to watch 4th of July fireworks in NYC, NY, NJ and CT

"They bring 'em down here, then in an area that's say, a lot different than the Catskills or the Adirondacks," County Fire Marshal Chief Michael Uttaro said.

While calls for illegal fireworks have gone down significantly since 2020, arrests have actually gone up.

In 2020 4,500 calls were made to police about illegal fireworks, with just 14 arrests.

Last year only 2,500 calls were made, but Nassau County Police arrested 50 people.

"I got no problem doing it this year," Ryder said. "If I'm gonna take the illegal fireworks off the street."

Nassau County residents can safely watch the authorized show at Eisenhower Park Friday evening with gates opening at 5:00 p.m. complete with live music to kick off the holiday weekend.

ALSO READ | Experts urge swim lessons, water safety to prevent child drownings

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