Dash for fireworks not losing steam

CALEDONIA — The dash for fireworks does not seem to be slowing down this holiday weekend.

With most fireworks shows canceled, people are looking to create their own display.

Long lines have been a common sight at Phantom Fireworks in Caledonia. We watched as shopper after shopper left with carts full of merchandise.

“It’s nothing compared to what people are spending you know just a little something,” said Alicia Hope.

Hope and her husband waited about two hours to get inside the store. People tell us they didn’t mind the wait.

“My son’s going to love it and we’re gonna have a good time,” said Hector Chavez.

“It’s definitely worth it. We’re gonna have some fun,” said Todd Rauch.

Coronavirus shut down most fireworks shows across southeast Wisconsin. The shift sparked big sales at Phantom Fireworks. One sale amounted to more than $4,500.

“I think people are trying to get some normalcy back in our lives so they’re kind of doing their own fireworks,” said Riley Harlow, General Manager at Phantom Fireworks.

In Wisconsin, some fireworks are legal. Generally, in many communities anything that explodes or leaves the ground is illegal.

“Our fine right now is $313. Our officers are going to be out there and they’re going to respond to calls. I’m sure we’re going to get a lot of calls from people about fireworks,” said Officer Fernando Santiago, the Community Relations Officer with Brown Deer Police.

Officer Santiago says fireworks complaints started earlier than usual this year. However, he says enforcement is challenging since fireworks are done within seconds.

“Our officers do respond, but unless the person continues to light them. It becomes a challenge for us to find out the actual location of that person,” said Officer Santiago.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports, in 2019 fireworks were involved in an estimated 10,000 injuries treated in emergency rooms across the country.

Officer Santiago urges people to think about their neighbors before lighting fireworks.

“There’s neighbors that have pets that can’t really handle the loud explosions. We have veterans that are living with some medical conditions that it’s really stressful for them,” Officer Santiago said.

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