Tulsa Fire, Police Spend Night Fighting Numerous Fires Caused By Fireworks

Thursday, July 5th 2012, 7:51 am
By: Emory Bryan

Tulsa area fire departments had a busy Independence Day, responding to a number of grass, brush and residence fires, all of which were blamed on fireworks.

The Tulsa Fire Department worked 80 separate fires after 9 p.m., Wednesday, but they say that's about typical for a 4th of July and the night after.

That's even with a ban on all fireworks in the City of Tulsa.

Most of the fires were very small, but one home had significant damage when it burned early this morning.

No one was hurt in that fire, but the police department reported, Wednesday night, an 8-month-old baby was hit by a roman candle and slightly injured.

Most of the calls were grass fires with little damage.

But just after midnight Thursday, firefighters responded to a fire on the roof of an apartment complex near 38th and Garnett. It damaged the roof and several air conditioning units, causing several families to be displaced.

Repairs on that damage were underway Thursday afternoon.

TFD's Tim Smallwood said, "We anticipate tonight will be busy, the weekend will be active, but nothing like the Fourth. It will die down."

TFD wasn't able to say how many—if any—tickets were issued for people using fireworks.

The Tulsa Police Department said, at least once, when officers responded to reports of fireworks going off, people actually aimed the fireworks at their patrol cars.

Corporal Dan Miller, TPD, said, at times, it was intense.

"As we got out there, and got the fire department out there, walking out there to take care of the fires, numerous times, from different angles … people were shooting Roman candles and mortars at us," said Corporal Dan Miller.

At one point, late Wednesday, Miller said officers had to move in and stand between those shooting fireworks and firefighters, so the firefighters could extinguish a fire.

The dry conditions also contributed to some of the fires.

Fireworks are always banned inside the city limits of Tulsa.

Out in Creek County, they were banned just today by the county commissioners, out of concern about the danger of grass fires.