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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Fireworks, fines and fires

  •      Discharging fireworks was officially banned by both the city and county commissioners on Monday evening, but that didn't stop some people from celebrating the 4th of July with a bang.


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  •      Discharging fireworks was officially banned by both the city and county commissioners on Monday evening, but that didn't stop some people from celebrating the 4th of July with a bang.
         According Kevin Norton, Dodge City fire chief they have responded to 15 fires over the holiday.
         "Most were small grass fires," said Norton, "but there was a big fire behind Sunnyside Elementary on Tuesday, and a fire at the Sundance apartments on Avenue K caught bushes on fire surrounding the building, and melted the siding off the structure."
         Norton also said that 15 fires is more than the city had last year, but considering the dry conditions we were fortunate that it wasn't worse.
         In the county there weren't quite as many fires.
         "We had about five calls for fires due to fireworks," said Rob Boyd, deputy fire chief for Ford County Fire and EMS. "And they were all small fires, no structural damage, no personal injury or loss of life, just some grass burned."
         Boyd said that this is about average for the county to receive this number of calls due to fireworks.
         Craig Mellecker, chief of police for Dodge City Police Department said that the city had a busy night trying to keep up with all the calls about people discharging fireworks. According to him they received 132 calls on Wednesday night alone. Of those they issued three citations and 66 warnings. When they responded to 28 of the calls no fireworks were being set off.
         "It's hard to enforce the firework ban," said Mellecker. "We had over 40 calls being held at one point because there were no officers available to respond to them."
         City police officers were also busy last night assisting with catching some escaped inmates in Mead County.
         For the three people who were issued citations they will have to go to court and pay a fine or enter a plea of guilty, not guilty or no contest and go to trial.
         The county sheriff's office couldn't be reached at press time to comment on how many calls the county got.
    Reach Julia Kazar at (620) 408-9913 or e-mail her at julia.kazar@dodgeglobe.com
     

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