Firework stands sell legal products, amid a spike in illegal firework complaints

Local News

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Roanoke City firework stands are selling safe, legal alternatives to illegal fireworks, after more than 60 calls of illegal fireworks between Wednesday and Friday.

Robbin Lovelace is the manager of a firework tent in Roanoke, and she said their top priority is the safety of the community.

“The name of our game is safety, here,” said Lovelace.

“We don’t have anything that flies up in the air. Everything we sell here is legal.”

Even though their stand does not sell illegal fireworks, Lovelace said she has been hearing them around town.

“I hear them every night. And why people, a lot of people, like to do them at 1 o’clock in the morning, I don’t know!” said Lovelace.

Many people like Stephanie Hodges have gone to stands such as Lovelace’s in order to get safe alternatives.

“We wanted to find just some really nice fireworks that are legal yet fun for kids,” Hodges said.

“Fortunately with kids this small and this young it doesn’t take much for them to be excited. So we’re just hoping that everybody has a good time.”

According to Kristen Purdue — a spokesperson for Roanoke Fire-EMS — it is unusual to receive this many calls about illegal activity, and she believes it could be in response to the cancellation of the bigger firework events in the area.

“This is the first year that we have had this many calls for fireworks. This is not a normal occurrence during the fourth of July. Typically we’ll have some over the weekend, the holiday weekend, but this month-long fireworks being set off nightly up until 3 a.m. is very new to us,” she said.

Roanoke Fire-EMS has received 62 calls in the past three days regarding illegal fireworks and 250 calls since the start of June, according to Perdue.

Perdue says if you are doing legal fireworks try to be safe. She says to have a water bucket nearby, don’t point the fireworks directly at anyone, and consider wearing eye protection.

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