SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Fourth of July and fireworks go hand in hand but unless you’re a licensed professional, lighting them is illegal.
The Springfield Police Department received 100 complaints regarding fireworks Monday night a dramatic decrease from last year when it was 1,700.
“It’s an old community. Respect the fact that one match could burn it all down,” said Springfield resident Simone Mason.
Mason said she heard illegal fireworks going off Monday night, something she said terrifies her as a homeowner because it could leave her home at risk for a fire. However, Springfield Police Spokesperson Ryan Walsh said they are receiving far fewer calls about fireworks, back to pre-pandemic levels.
“This past June, there was only 55 calls about fireworks. Two years ago during the height of the pandemic, we were seeing 2,000,” said Walsh.
Fireworks of all kinds are illegal in Massachusetts with up to a $100 civil fine if you do get caught with fireworks.
“They’re confiscated. It’s really a quality of life issue. So police will respond if they’re able to, if they’re dispatched to the call. Often times when they get there the fireworks are already over,” said Walsh.
While there were far fewer calls for illegal fireworks this year, Walsh notes the risks is still there. The Springfield Arson and Bomb Squad determined that the cause of an overnight fire on Webster Street was from the illegal fireworks.
“The people that wanted to shoot fireworks the last couple of years hopefully went down to the Riverfront and saw the fabulous Star Spangled Springfield show on the Fourth of July. And as you’ve seen from that fire last night, they’re dangerous,” said Walsh.
Walsh said fireworks complaints tend to happen between Memorial Day weekend and the Fourth of July and then they go down after that.