Business owner and Erie residents react to overnight Fourth of July fireworks

Local News

The Fourth of July fireworks are off. Several residents near 18th and Liberty Streets have complained about what they say were late night fireworks over the weekend.

We spoke to the owner of a convenience store who set off fireworks over the weekend.

The owner of the store said that the fireworks show went for two hours. The owner was glad to put on the show for the neighborhood kids.

“There’s a lot of kids that are unfortunate to get down to the dock,” said Dave Thomas, Owner of Thomas Convenience Store/Barbershop.

Thomas said that he set off fireworks on his business property, although it is on the Rite Aid parking lot.

“Every year I pull a show for the kids and after I get done I make sure I clean up all the areas so it won’t be a problem for the following year,” said Thomas.

Thomas believes that the hundreds of fireworks set off might have lasted until midnight, but he did not mean to go over the late night hours.

“Accept the fact that this is going to happen no matter where you are. It wasn’t just here. It was all over the city. They were just letting out fireworks. I mean it’s going to happen,” said Thomas.

The overnight fireworks were met with mixed emotions.

“And the kids are the main ones. I love seeing their faces with the fireworks going on, especially with my daughter. She’s four years old and she was so excited running out here with the sparklers and everything,” said Nina Overton, Resident.

“I was happy for the kids, but when you get to a certain age you know that noise gets on your nerves. But for Independence Day, it’s for us to be independent and I think a lot of times people forget about that,” said Bernice Moyer, Resident.

The City of Erie Fire Department said that they responded to two dumpster fires caused by fireworks which they said had nothing to do with the display from Thomas.

Police said that there were dozens of complaints about fireworks over the holiday weekend.

“For the city here it wasn’t anything above what normally we get from the Fourth of July. Unfortunately they get tracked as disturbances,” said Rick Lorah, Deputy Chief of the Erie Police Department.

Lorah said that they are working to upgrade the 911 software so it can separate fireworks calls from shots fired and other possible noise complaints.

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