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Trash Can And Dumpster Fires: Pittsburgh Fireworks Task Force Kept Busy For Independence Day Celebrations

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- Pittsburgh Public Safety's Fireworks Task Force was kept busy the night of Independence Day.

In total, over 150 fireworks-related complaints were issued by residents.

Along with those complaints, the task force had to respond to multiple overnight fires related to fireworks activity.

Many of the fires were caused by improperly discarded fireworks.

One of the fires ignited in a trash can on Mt. Pleasant Road. In another case, a dumpster fire on Bracey Drive had to be put out by firefighters.

A third fire involved a sparkler thrown into a box against a house catching alight, but fire crews were able to contain the flames before they reached the house.

But not all firework-related fires were caused by disposal issues.

Fireworks set off at a large party sparked a fire at a basketball court in Lewis Park.

In a separate incident, a vehicle caught on fire after firework embers landed on it, but neighbors were able to put it out.

The task force said they had serious problems in Hazelwood and issued warnings after getting over 30 complaint calls from the area.

Some of the incidents around the area landed people in the hospital this weekend.

A representative from the UPMC Mercy Burn Center says six people needed emergency care and one person had to be hospitalized because of fireworks.

Someone from the Burn Center at West Penn Hospital says five people were treated. Two of them were children, and two of the three adults needed surgery because the injuries were so severe.

Several other injuries were reported at West Penn including some that were grill-related. Those patients came through the emergency room but were not burned badly enough to be sent to the burn center.

With the holiday over, the firework liquidation sales are just beginning, which means people are about to be setting them off for weeks to come. Emergency room doctors are encouraging people to maintain their safety practices during those times.

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