No stopping illegal fireworks in Seattle

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on July 8, 2013 at 5:49 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 10:42 AM

Despite the big number of complaints to police, Seattle officials say there is little they can do about the illegal fireworks on the 4th of July.

On top of the $1.5 million marina fire, where 14 boats were damaged on the 4th, a barage of illegal fireworks sparked a call for police action.

"I have no idea how you enforce it or what you do, but that's the mayor's job," said Windermere homeowner Kerry Loveland, whose  house caught fire from an errant bottle rocket.

"It's a challenge," said Seattle Mike McGinn.

The mayor has no real solution other than to remind citizens to behave responsibly.

On the 4th, he assigned extra police officers to crowd safety and traffic control at Gas Works Park, leaving few officers available to chase illegal fireworks.

"This is not something that we can expect the police to go out and prevent the illegal shooting off of fireworks when they're already stretched so thin dealing with a massive event like the fireworks show," said McGinn.

On the night of the 4th, police got some 2,000 fireworks related 9-1-1 calls, but few were specific.

"What we got is 'My neighbors are lighting off fireworks and it's really loud. We need the police here right now to investigate,'" said Seattle Police Department spokesman Sgt. Sean Whitcomb.

Whitcomb says they need information about suspect location and description.

Of the thousands of 9-1-1 calls, Whitcomb says there was only one fireworks related arrest on the 4th of July.

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