PUYALLUP, Wash. -- In the city of Puyallup, setting off your own fireworks on the Fourth of July is fine. Roman candles and cone fountains, aerial spinners and sparklers - it's all allowed.
"I just picked what looked like fun," said resident Angelina Breitzman.
While Breitzman is following the rules, there are plenty of examples of people breaking the law.
"A lot of times they do not know. They say, ‘My friend gave them to me.’ As long as they are cooperative, and not doing something really stupid, then no citation," said one investigator.
"This year, it seems to have picked up just a little bit," said Assistant Chief Randy Stephens with Central Pierce Fire and Rescue.
It has become an annual tradition for police officers and firefighters to conduct patrols for illegal fireworks in the days leading up to the Fourth of July and on the holiday. The goal is to avoid fires and injuries, but this year, there has already been a serious accident involving a 23-year-old man from Puyallup.
"He claims it was a skyrocket that he purchased on tribal property. He attempted to light it. It blew up and exploded. He had injuries all over his body and I believe he lost his right eye as well," said Assistant Chief Stephens.
“Something could happen too easily and change you forever,” said Breitzman. “So, you have to be safety conscious, but as long as you are smart, you can have a great time."