Fireworks bring dumpster fires concerns

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Thursday night was the first night Utahns could set fireworks off in non-restricted areas.

And while Utahns may be enjoying the rocket’s red glare, firefighters are concerned given the elevated fire danger.

“The big concern is once the people put [fireworks] in their garbage can, and put it up next to their house, then that garbage can will start on fire and then usually the people sleeping will wake up to a house fire,” said Captian Scott Rekoutis with the West Valley City Fire Department.

That’s what happened during Pioneer Day weekend near Lone Peak. Officials say spent fireworks in a trashcan ignited and started a house on fire.

Captain Rekoutis says it happens more then people would like to think.

“10 o’clock, 10:30 p.m. they are done with their fireworks, and they will sit and smolder and about 4 a.m. or 5 o’clock, we usually start getting other fires,” said the captain.

On the last 4th of July, Unified Fire had to act quickly because of a dumpster fire feet from gas pumps and a manufacturing company.

A city over in West Jordan, a business caught fire. At the time, the owner told ABC4 News, fireworks were to blame.

“Let’s be smart about how we dispose of them. Let’s make sure we have hose lines out if we need to wet them down. Let’s leave them outside, let’s extinguish them before we put them in the garbage can,” said Battalion Chief Jordon Petersen. “When it comes to our fireworks, especially spent fireworks, we have to be careful with them because they remain hot for quite a while.”

Firefighters say watering your lawn is great to help prevent a fire from spreading, but remember to water all the shrubs and trees around your home too because of how dry it is.

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