Number of fires caused by fireworks down this Fourth of July

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. -- A number of public safety organizations are on high alert during the Fourth of July due to the amount of fires and injuries that happen each year because of fireworks.

The good news is, this year's Fourth of July was not as busy as it usually is for Huntsville Fire and Rescue. Captain Frank McKenzie said they responded to only two fireworks related fires.

"A grass fire, and also later on about 2:30 in the morning there was a fire in a garbage can related to fireworks. They had been discarded in the container, and caught the container and the side of the building on fire," he said.

Capt. McKenzie credits the weather with keeping the number of fires down.

"I think a lot of the reduced number of calls this year was due to the weather, because there was a lot of rain. Everything was wet, so that was good for us," he said.

Capt. McKenzie said he hopes getting the word out more about not using fireworks illegally also helped. But, they still received a high volume of calls about people using fireworks in city limits.

"I was told that we talked to over six hundred people during this holiday season about the illegal use of fireworks in the city," he said.

And for those who cite slow response time on the city's end, the fire department only has nine investigators that handle those types of calls. McKenzie said they are enforcing the ordinances.

"Those nine investigators talked to over 600 people about the illegal use of fireworks, so that's quite a number of people to talk to for nine people," he said.

Huntsville Hospital also said they saw no firework related injuries in the main Huntsville E.R last night.

Alabama State Troopers are also investigating eight traffic fatalities and one drowning related to the Fourth of July holiday period.