As the use of legal and illegal fireworks around the Los Angeles area exploded this Fourth of July, fire departments saw a sharp increase in the number of calls for service, authorities said Sunday.
It was the second-busiest day ever in calls for service from the Los Angeles County Fire Department, according to Dispatch Supervisor Imy McBride.
The dispatchers usually field 1,000 calls on an average day, McBride said. On July 4th, they handled more than 1,600 calls, including tree, brush and roof fires.
Los Angeles City firefighters responded to 1,770 calls for service from 3 a.m. July 4 to 3 a.m. Sunday, spokesman Nicholas Prange said. The department averaged 1,368 calls per day during the same period in 2019, he said.
The July 4 fires included one that burned trees and the roof of a garden-style apartment building on Wilbur Avenue in Northridge with five people suffering smoke inhalation and 50 residents being displaced, Prange said.
There was also a three-acre brush fire in Shadow Hills and a fire that spread from palm trees to the roof of an apartment building in Reseda.
McBride and Prange said it was unclear whether the fires were related to the increase use of fireworks.
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