Fire chiefs speak on firework safety

Port Isabel-South Padre Press

With scores of people expected to celebrate Independence Day this weekend, two Laguna Madre area fire chiefs had some words of warning about the use of fireworks.

“First things first: we always recommend that people just enjoy the professional fireworks because there are so many accidents (with consumer fireworks). Every year, children get hurt,” South Padre Island Fire Chief Doug Fowler said earlier this week.

Additionally, popping fireworks within South Padre Island city limits is against the law, he said.”They’re not allowed in the city limits or on the beach,” Fowler said.

Port Isabel Fire Chief John Sandoval reminded residents that fireworks are not allowed within Port Isabel, either. “It is against city ordinance to pop fireworks within the city limits, as well as the extraterritorial jurisdiction.” he said. That extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) extends to portions of Laguna Heights, he said, from Washington Street to Pennsylvania Street.

Both chiefs said call volume tends to go up on busy holiday weekends, especially when fireworks are involved.

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