Firefighters battle fewer fires on Fourth

Firefighters battle fewer fires on Fourth

6 July 2008

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Honolulu, USA — At least two fireworks-related brush fires were reported in Honolulu yesterday following a relatively quiet Fourth of July this year.

One fire burned about a half-acre behind Stevenson Middle School on Prospect Street in Honolulu. The fire, which started at 1:08 p.m. yesterday on the hillside near a baseball field, didn’t threaten any structures, said fire department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig. The other brush fire also didn’t cause any property damage, Seelig said, although he didn’t have any details on the incident.

Rain showers Thursday might have helped reduce the number of fire calls on the Fourth of July by about 30 percent compared with last year, Seelig said.

“It was less than last year, but it’s a higher number of calls than we normally have on any day in the summer,” said Honolulu Fire Department Capt. Terry Seelig.

He also credited fireworks shows with giving people an alternative to popping their own fireworks and an ongoing effort to promote safety this summer.

“We’re asking people to be vigilant this summer,” he said. “That might have made a difference.”

“One minor fireworks-related injury was reported at 2:24 a.m. yesterday when a man in his late teens or early 20s burned his hands with fireworks.

He walked into the Waialua fire station and received treatment for minor injuries, said Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokesman Bryan Cheplic.

Fireworks-related fires were also mostly minor on the neighbor islands.

On Kauai, fireworks were blamed for a small fire inside a Hanamaulu home, said county spokeswoman Mary Daubert.

Children lit fireworks inside a bedroom at about 6:30 p.m. Firefighters responded, but residents put out the fire before they arrived, she said.

Firefighters on the Big Island reported only one fire related to fireworks — a brush fire near the old Kona airport, a battalion chief said.

The most serious fire on the Fourth of July caused about $85,000 damage to an Ahuimanu home Friday morning.

Firefighters responded to the fire on Ahuimanu Road at 6:21 a.m. and had the fire under control by 7 a.m.

While the cause is undetermined, fireworks have been ruled out, Seelig said.

Fire risks still lurk this summer, Seelig said.

“It’s still dry out there. We want people to be careful,” he said.

Fire calls by the numbers

Firefighters responded to 57 fire calls on the Fourth of July, about 30 percent fewer than last year.

Fire calls on Friday:

 TotalSuspected to be Fireworks-relatedWildfires 178Rubbish 2417Others 80Building 40Vehicle 41Total calls 5726Previous years 2006 113782007 8160

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