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Illegal Fireworks To Yield Hefty Fine In City Of Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- If you plan to set off your own fireworks this Fourth of July in the City of Pittsburgh, make sure they're legal.

The Pittsburgh fireworks task force is wielding a thousand dollar fine per violation and they are not messing around.

They're doing periodic inspections of roadside stands looking for anything that booms or shoots into the sky.

The fire safety experts say the tough stance is justified by the consequences of the exploding and shooting stuff.

"Skin grafts, severe burns, loosing fingers or hands," Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said.

"I'm kind of in favor with it because I don't think a lot of people take into consideration all the surroundings," Gary Arlet, of Franklin Park, said. "Like today it's very dry, it's very hot. People set off bottle rockets, roman candles they're going to set the whole neighborhood on fire."

Chief Jones says in years past they've tried the heavy crackdown on users approach. It resulted in copious amounts of frustration.

"We were overwhelmed," he said. "We would get 911 call after 911 call with fireworks complaints and it just wasn't enough of us out there."

So the fireworks task force now concentrates only on the sellers, leaving the users to the police who in every jurisdiction find themselves equally overwhelmed.

"We're not going to be going door to door issuing tickets, but if we realize someone's out there doing something that is a potential hazard, they're breaking a law, then obviously we'll go out and respond to that," State Trooper Robin Mungo said.

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