Deadly illegal fireworks continue to haunt the Inland Empire

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Authorities warn all fireworks are illegal in many parts of the Inland Empire.

After a home exploded because of illegal fireworks three years ago, recent busts in the Inland Empire show that the problem isn’t going away. 

“This season we have had two fires attributed to fireworks.” Sue Jones with the city of Victorville warned, saying that fireworks can cause fires to spread rapidly.

Recently in San Bernardino, a large supply of aerial fireworks was found by police during a traffic stop. As the driver had an expired registration and suspended license, police impounded the car and seized all the fireworks. 

“The two involved subjects were issued citations. We hope this serves as a reminder that illegal fireworks sales are not permitted in the city.” San Bernardino Police said.

Earlier this month, about 160 pounds of illegal fireworks was discovered while the Victorville Police Department was serving a search warrant on Fuschia Lane. The illegal fireworks were for sale since the boxes had price tags, according to the police.

All fireworks have been illegal in Victorville since 2019, and the penalties can be up to several thousand dollars. 

The ordinance, that bans all fireworks, is accompanied by a $1,000 fine for first violation. It increases to $3,000 for the second and $5,000 for the third violation. 

Back in March 2021, homes near Bonita Avenue and Francis Street exploded due to illegal fireworks, killing two people and damaging several other homes in the area.

“I was frightened. It was so loud. All the neighbors were out, and we were frightened.” said Wood, a resident of the Inland Empire.

“Damage to the house – kitchen cabinets, countertop, fireplace. They came about a quarter inch off the wall. Bedroom ceiling cracked in half and nearly came down,” Wood recalled.

According to San Bernardino County, “safe and sane” fireworks are only allowed in Adelanto, Chino, Colton, Needles, and Rialto, as well as specific locations in Fontana, Grand Terrace, and San Bernardino. San Bernardino only allows “safe and sane” fireworks in areas south of the 210 Freeway. All fireworks are illegal elsewhere in the county.

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