Illegal fireworks pose risks for the new year - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Illegal fireworks pose risks for the new year

Amanda Baxter Amanda Baxter
HFD Captain Terry Seelig HFD Captain Terry Seelig
Wayne Davis Wayne Davis

By Minna Sugimoto - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - They're colorful, and they elicit oohs and aahs. But fire officials say amateurs setting off professional quality aerials are putting themselves and their communities at great risk.

Amanda Baxter of TNT Fireworks is quite the firecracker.

"It's gonna go swoosh, swoosh over and over and over. Not once, but lots," TNT Fireworks, Amanda Baxter said.

This Washington-based company, which is operating five retail tents on Oahu, says sales have exploded.

"Very busy. Our locations, like I said, sales are up about a third already," Baxter said.

This is the legal way for fireworks lovers to welcome the new year. Police are asking for the public's help in identifying those who are setting off professional quality aerials in neighborhoods. Fire officials say amateurs playing with illegal fireworks aren't fully appreciating the risk involved.

"It is nothing but careless as well as reckless to be taking explosives and setting them off in neighborhoods. That's essentially what's happening," HFD Capt. Terry Seelig said.

Back at the TNT tent, Kaneohe resident Wayne Davis says he is concerned about the amount of illegal aerials near his home.

"Every night, it seems like almost for the last month, you hear the boom, booms and see fireworks in the sky. It's so professional. I don't know how they do it," Davis said.

Fire officials are urging people to open 2010 safely.

"They are explosive materials that can be destructive, causing a lot of injury and property damage," Davis said.

Authorities say more than 53 hundred permits for consumer-use firecrackers have been issued for this new year's. That's about 160 more than at this time last year.

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