So summer time is here and if it’s one thing you can count on in Northeastern Ohio—other than festivals and outdoor picnics it’s the fireworks that will be popping off either in your neighborhood or at designated shows around the city. Caitlin Fitch reports
People love fireworks
“They’re fun they’re loud they’re a good time”
Especially around this time of year I think they’re a good celebration”
“Lighting them off seeing kids faces”
You walk into Phantom fireworks store in Youngstown Ohio and the first thing you here hear is someone asking you if you have any…
“Lighters, matches, cigarettes or firearms”
Assistant manager Grant Brown says it’s very important to make sure that anyone coming in respects the seriousness of the rules.
“For obvious reasons when you’re inside a showroom.
A room full of explosives that can cost you a few dollars or a few hundred dollars. Brown took me around the store and showed me that certain firework assortments can cost more than your average monthly rent payment.
“Now you got the people who want the bigger ones, you got the phantom elite which is $599, or $799 sorry”
But don’t worry; Brown says there’s something for everyone’s budget.
“The Niagara falls tens to be our most popular because it’s the cheapest…it’s $59.99”
There’s an assortment for everyone.
“It all depends on what you want”
But Youngstown native Chucky Spencer says he loves anything that goes pop and doesn’t let the possible consequences stand in his way.
((NAT SOUND OF FIREWORKS))
“People do illegal things every day. People with power and in the legal system do illegal things every day. And if it’s not hurting anybody I don’t see the point.”
Spencer says he’s had good experiences with fireworks, but he’s also had bad.
“My uncle put one of the one of the fireworks in the tube upside down. So it shot downwards while it was still down and the whole tube exploded and the sparks flew everywhere, I had a burn mark on my shirt.”
Youngstown police captain Dave McKnight says patrolling for fireworks isn’t high on his list of priorities.
“Well it definitely doesn’t do anything to help us stop the crime in the city”
It’s illegal to ignite consumer fireworks in Ohio and Phantom requires people buying fireworks to sign a document stating they’ll get the fireworks purchased in Ohio out of the state within 48 hours or face criminal charges.
It’s hard to persuade them to take them to a another area where it’s legal to use them and so you have them disturbing the peace and so we handle the calls as a nuisance call not so much a crime of the possession of the fireworks Most of the time we give the people the opportunity to stop using the fireworks .”
Fireworks keep the police busy all summer long.
“We have to patrol every block. We get calls every day. And if we’re not on the 200 block, we’re on the 300 hundred block, and the 400 block, and if we’re not on the 500 block why not.”
The one thing you can buy at Phantom and legally use in Ohio is sparklers. For the News Outlet, I’m Caitlin Fitch