Louisville’s chief fire investigator has a request for the city: Be careful with those fireworks this week.
Louisville Fire & Rescue typically deals with a three- to four-times increase in runs on the Fourth of July and days surrounding it, Major Henry Ott said.
Because of this, firefighters dealing trash fires or brush blazes may not be in place to deal with more serious structure fires, he added.
Ott noted fireworks that shoot in the air or explode are prohibited in Louisville.
“If you shoot things—these are not accurate weapons. Basically, when you shoot it you have a 50-50 chance of knowing where it’s going to land,” Ott said.
He recommended people light all fireworks at least 200 feet away from people, buildings or vehicles, and have water available.
Also, don’t try to relight duds.
“Just abandon what you’ve got there, pour five gallons of water on it or something and move on,” Ott said. “That’s where people really get in trouble.”
Ott doesn’t expect an increase in fire incidents this week because of the cancelation of the fireworks show at Waterfront Park.
On Thursday, Louisville Fire had five fireworks complaints through the afternoon, Ott said.
Last year, Louisville Fire had 10 arson investigations related to fireworks—including an incident that damaged a school, he said. Three fireworks-related arson incidents happened around the Fourth of July.