News From Terre Haute, Indiana

June 29, 2013

Valley fired up for Fourth celebrations

Authorities warn of fireworks’ dangers, urge caution

Dustyn Fatheree
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — With last year’s burn ban a thing of the past, Hoosiers can fire up this year’s Fourth of July celebrations. But officials still want residents to be cautious and aware of the dangers fireworks pose.

During last year’s drought, officials were forced to initiate a nearly state-wide burn-ban on fireworks due to “dangerously dry conditions.”

“We ended up having two fires from fireworks due to last year’s drought,” said Jeff Fisher, Terre Haute’s fire chief. “Luckily, there has been a lot more rain this year so people are free to set off fireworks to celebrate the Fourth of July.”

Fisher warns that “common sense” should always be number one on the priority list when dealing with fireworks of any kind.

“People can shoot off any kind of firework in Indiana as long as they are conscious of their surroundings,” Fisher added. “Have some kind of extinguishing agent nearby, keep your eyes on the kids and drinking alcohol while setting off fireworks do not mix. A lot of injuries that are reported are of minors.”

Kyle Dean, general manager of Dean’s Fireworks agrees with Fisher by advising to read the safety warning on the box before firing off the fireworks.

Business at Dean’s Fireworks was highly affected by the burn-ban last year, he said. He is relieved that there has been moisture this year so people can enjoy setting off fireworks in celebration.  

“Last year our sales started really well and ended pretty badly since people couldn’t set them off,” he said. “This year has been a solid year. I can’t complain.”

Among the best selling consumer fireworks at Dean’s is the Excalibur and Hoosier Daddy, he added. The Excalibur shoots off 24 different shells with different effects and has the safest mortar tube. The Hoosier daddy has 12 shots each sporting red, white and blue.

According to the Indiana Code, consumers 18 years and older can purchase fireworks to be used on their property, on the property of another who has given permission and at a special discharge location.

Vigo County will be staging its annual Terre Haute Independence Day Fireworks on Thursday, July 4, at Dusk. The display will be at Fairbanks Park.

For those people spending the Fourth of July in Indianapolis, Marion County is conducting its annual Regions Bank Freedom Blast at 9:45 p.m. Thursday. Fireworks will be displayed at the Regions Bank Tower.

Wherever people decide to watch or set off fireworks, Fisher emphasizes that people need to be as careful as they can.

“I hope everyone is careful so we can all have a good, fun and safe Fourth of July this year.”



Reporter Dustyn Fatheree can be reached at 812-231-4255 and dustyn.fatheree@tribstar.com.