Pasadena cracking down on illegal fireworks amid surge in reports

The city of Pasadena has reported a 400% increase in calls over fireworks, and residents are noticing the noise as the Fourth of July approaches.
PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- As the Fourth of July approaches, complaints about fireworks are surging in Southern California, and residents are upset over the loud booms going off in their neighborhood.

In San Bernardino, a man's car was destroyed by fireworks. The loss of property comes as authorities in San Bernardino say they're getting six times the amount of calls compared to this time last year.

In Pasadena, the city reported a 400% increase in calls, and residents there say they are noticing the noise.

This year in Pasadena, the AmericaFest fireworks show is going virtual, so there will be no show for local neighbors.

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As the Fourth of July approaches, complaints about fireworks are surging across the country.

Pasadena fire and police departments are aggressively going after people setting off illegal fireworks.

"We are going to cite people and we are going to make sure that they're aware that there are consequences to their behavior," said Bryan Frieders, the interim chief for the Pasadena Fire Department.

Firefighters are not only concerned about potential wildfires, house fires and destruction of property, but gruesome injuries from explosions gone wrong, such as injuries to eyes and hands.

Authorities attribute the rise in illegal fireworks to mainly boredom and restlessness due to COVID-19.

They believe many of the fireworks are being built at home or ordered online.

The police department says they will cite anyone lighting off fireworks, including the parents of neighborhood kids.

"We are really balancing our approach to policing and ensuring we're not running around making arrests of young children for fireworks," said Chief John Perez of the Pasadena Police Department. "The parents are responsible for those and that's who will receive the citation, will in fact be the parents."

A citation can come out to a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.
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