fireworks

South Bay Crews Focus on Debris Clean Up, Another Night of Fireworks

Activists are working on passing Senate Bill 277, which would allow licensed wholesalers to buy state-confiscated fireworks and re-sell them in other states where they are legal

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The Fourth of July weekend was busy for firefighters in the South Bay as they answered nearly nonstop reports of potential fires triggered by fireworks.

Despite the multiple calls, there was no sign of fire Monday after the holiday, but rather streets littered with firework debris.

“I saw all kinds of lights for my window. It was crazy," said South Bay resident Elena Rubio about the light show she witnessed from home. "I’m lying down and I can look out my window and I could see explosions of lights."

The San Jose Fire Department confirmed they responded to 20 firework calls overnight. In addition, the San Jose Police Department has seized 550 pounds of illegal fireworks this year.

However, activists across the state said police choose not to confiscate some illegal fireworks because their disposal comes with a hefty price tag.

"Local law enforcement doesn’t enforce so much because they’ll get stuck with the bag, so to speak," said fireworks legislation advocate Cheryl Cashman.

She is leading an effort to convince the State Assembly to pass Senate Bill 277.

The bill would allow licensed wholesalers to buy state-confiscated fireworks and re-sell them to companies in other states where they are legal.

Proceeds would allow the state fire marshall to increase funding for local task forces, who could then be more proactive in finding illegal fireworks.

"They’re viable fireworks. They’re packaged. They’re still in boxes, that instead of being destroyed, they can be re-sold," Cashman explained.

At the moment, firefighters told NBC Bay Area they're focused on yet another night of fireworks and the inevitable flood of calls that come with them.

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