Emergency crews respond to more than 100 firework related fires - KMOV.com

Emergency crews respond to more than 100 firework related fires in St. Louis

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While a dumpster fire burned in South City, gunshots were fired causing bystanders to run and duck for cover. (Credit: KMOV) While a dumpster fire burned in South City, gunshots were fired causing bystanders to run and duck for cover. (Credit: KMOV)

Emergency crews in St. Louis have had a busy 24 hours.

"As the fire chief, I'm asking people right now just stop, we can't do this."

That was the plea made by St. Louis Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson after a busy holiday left four firefighters injured and one in serious condition.

Jenkerson said a majority of the fires were started by illegal fireworks, and fire officials say the problem isn't over yet.

People around the area are still shooting off their leftover fireworks, and Jenkerson says the problem could linger for a few more days.

In a city where fireworks are illegal, debris is scattered throughout St. Louis after the July Fourth holiday.

"Every year it seems to get a little worse, yesterday it got a little worse very quickly," said Jenkerson.

In a 24-hour period starting at 8 a.m. on Fourth of July, crews responded to 13 building fires, more than ten garage fires, more than 30 weed, grass or trees on fire, and more than 70 dumpster fires.

While a dumpster fire burned in South City, gunshots were fired causing bystanders to run and duck for cover.

In total, more than 100 fires were caused by fireworks with that number expected grow.

Illegal or not, shooting off fireworks has become a city tradition.

Jenkerson said dry conditions aren't helping matters and on Wednesday, crews were running on several fires believed to be from fireworks.

"We've got trees burning from bottle rockets and roman candles dropping into these trees, so it's causing fire department concern, we're responding as fast as we possibly can to these calls but it's been very busy," said Jenkerson.

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