Tacoma Fireworks Stats: 15 fires, $500 in property damage over Independence Day holiday

The number of fireworks-related emergency service calls in Tacoma over the Independence Day holiday dropped dramatically from last year, according to Tacoma Fire Department officials.


Between June 26 and July 6, the Tacoma Fire Department responded to 1,197 calls for service. Of that total, 15 calls were related to fireworks: one outdoor fire; two Dumpster fires; and 12 grass/brush/tree fires. Property damage related to these incidents totaled five-hundred dollars. In comparison, the fire department responded to 37 fireworks-related incidents totaling $846,975 in property damage last year; 13 incidents totaling $85,550 in 2010; 58 incidents totaling $50,235 in 2009; 22 incidents totaling $50,235 in 2008; 20 incidents totaling $3,100 in 2007; 29 incidents totaling $63,310 in 2006; 24 incidents totaling $8,890 in 2005; 14 incidents totaling $9,450 in 2004; and 70 incidents totaling $71,216 in 2003.

The information was included in a July 12 memo from Interim Fire Chief James P. Duggan to Tacoma City Manager T. C. Broadnax.

Although no people suffering fireworks-related injuries were treated or transported to local hospitals by the fire department, one person was treated at Allenmore Hospital and Medical Center, and another person was treated at Tacoma General Hospital.

The City of Tacoma embarked on an aggressive campaign to remind residents that fireworks are illegal within city limits. According to Chief Duggan, 4,860 “Fireworks Prohibited” fliers were delivered to all Tacoma public schools; 900 fliers were distributed by on-duty fire crews to areas identified as previous “fireworks hot spots,” including Hilltop, Salishan and Tanglewood neighborhoods; and 300 fliers were distributed to libraries, Metro Parks, neighborhood businesses, and farmers’ markets.

Additionally, electronic reader boards at the Tacoma Dome, Cheney Stadium, fire stations, and police stations displayed the fireworks ban warning.

Violators of the fireworks law are subject to a fine and the confiscation of their fireworks. Most fireworks violations are class 2 civil infractions and can result in a $257 fine. Citizens using fireworks are still subject to arrest for other charges (i.e., arson, reckless burning, and assault). Fireworks are only permissible within city limits when a permit has been issued for a sanctioned public event.