ST. LOUIS — As fireworks lit up the St. Louis skyline this weekend, police have had their hands full responding to the calls.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said it received 783 calls for fireworks between 5 p.m. on July 3rd to 5 A.M. on July 5. Some of the calls may have been duplicate calls for the same incidents, police said.
The city has seen a significant spike in the number of fireworks calls this year. In 2019, the city reported 197 calls for fireworks from May 1 to June 24. This year, the city reported 880 in that same time period.
Twitter user @Lindsay_Patton captured the scene Saturday night as hundreds of fireworks erupted across the city.
Several fireworks events around the St. Louis area and the rest of the country have been canceled due to the pandemic, which could be the reason there has been an increase in commercial-grade fireworks used on the streets.
St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson says, they responded to 324 calls.
He says, "Just the size and height they reached these aren’t normal consumer fireworks. It started about 7:30 PM and lasted until 2 in the morning. It was all over the city. It wasn’t concentrated in one place. It kept the fire department very busy."
Looking at the calls, Chief Jenkerson says, 122 were for fires, 75 were dumpster fires, one garage fire, 15 for rubbish, several for trees and grass fires, and some for playground equipment on fire from fireworks.
He says, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., they had 6 building fires that were fully involved and required a lot of manpower. Chief Jenkerson says the buildings were probably started by fireworks.
But St. Louis is not the only city to see such a large increase. Several other cities around the country are seeing major increases as well.
New York reported more than 1,700 fireworks complaints in the first half of June, compared to 21 during the same time last year.
Fireworks are illegal in the City of St. Louis and St. Louis County. Public displays of fireworks can be done with written approval from the city fire marshal.
Chief Jenkerson says with fireworks going on sale, fireworks could continue to go off for a couple of weeks.
If you're tired of the fireworks, a spokesperson for the police department said that the best advice is to contact police instead of interfering.