Fireworks Cause Serious Injury; Fireworks Discharge Prohibited in Cedar Rapids City Limits
Last evening at 6:41 p.m. firefighters, police officers and ambulance personnel responded to the 2300 block of Coldstream Avenue NE for a fireworks injury.
A 19-year old male had a firecracker detonate in his hand. The victim sustained serious damage to his hand, including the loss of part of several fingers.
The Fire Department and Police Department would like to remind citizens that the use of fireworks within the City limits of Cedar Rapids is prohibited. Not only are fireworks illegal to be discharged in the City limits, this incident is another unfortunate example of the danger of fireworks.
Last year, the Fire Department responded to 13 fire incidents involving fireworks, including 3 building fires with the worst fire causing $140,000 damage. Cedar Rapids hospitals treated 21 patients for injuries and four patients were serious enough to be transported by ambulance.
Also, in 2017, fireworks-related complaints resulted in officers being dispatched 576 times between June 1 and July 8. The Police Department received 33 calls about shootings during that same period, which were most likely people hearing fireworks going off. There were also two shooting incidents in which some citizens later said that they didn’t call police because they thought the noise was fireworks.
There were also hundreds of noise complaints. Beside noise complaints, there were issues with air quality and presence of perchlorate in the soil. Two soil samples taken on July 5, near a water well by the Ellis Boat Harbor and Ellis Park, where fireworks were frequently detonated, showed elevated levels of percolate, a chemical in fireworks that can cause thyroid problems. There were also concerns about litter, including debris left in public parks and in neighborhoods — often in other people’s yards that weren’t even shooting off fireworks.
Police officers are citing individuals who are illegally discharging fireworks. The violation requires a court appearance and the fine can be up to $625.