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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — This year is the first Independence Day in Pennsylvania with new fireworks laws in effect, and while many people are excited they can buy bigger fireworks, Pittsburgh’s fire chief is sounding the alarm.
The cash registers are going non-stop at the area’s first fireworks showroom in Monroeville.
“I’m really happy they got one in Pittsburgh because I was going to go to Ohio for maybe, like, 10 to 15 years,” Arneta Dyer, of the Hill District, said.
That was a common theme among the shoppers seeking out that which just a year ago could not be legally purchased in Pennsylvania.
“We are allowed aerial items, which are mortars, repeater cakes, roman candles, rockets,” Jeff Graham, of Phantom Fireworks, said. “We are now a consumer legal full line state.”
Now, they’re on sale under tents and at the Phantom Fireworks’ first local showroom.
Customers are excited, but officials are wary.
“I’m a little afraid of what’s gonna happen here because people are buying these things, like, unbelievable,” Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire Chief Daryl Jones said.
Buyers are mostly unaware that the fireworks must be used at least 150 feet from any occupied structure.
“Debris is still burning when it falls down and lands on a roof or lands in a pile of brush. It can start a fire very easily,” Jones said.
There are also concerns about more serious injuries.