Public Safety Blotter Articles

Fireworks Taskforce Responds to Overwhelming Number of July 4th Fireworks Complaints/ Incidents

Date: July 5, 2020
Incident Type: Fireworks
Location: All Zones

On July 4, the Fireworks Taskforce, made up of investigators from the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Pittsburgh Bureau of Fire, responded to 131 complaint calls regarding fireworks. 

These are the calls the taskforce was actually able to respond to. Just after midnight there were 125 additional calls that police and firefighters were forced to triage and prioritize due to the severity of the others. The Pittsburgh Bureau of EMS also responded to many of these calls.

Here is a snapshot of some of the more serious fireworks-related incidents:

In Zone 1, a fight between neighbors in the 2000 block of Lowrie Street ensued over fireworks where as many as five people were transported to the hospital, one of them with serious injuries. In the 1500 block of Eckert Street a large brush fire burned as a result of fireworks and police responded to complaints of huge displays on E. Ohio St, Rhine St, and in Northview Heights.

In Zone 2, police responded to a number of locations in Lawrenceville and the Hill District, where residents were launching huge displays.

Both Jacunda Street and Orchard Place in Zone 3 held large block parties with elaborate fireworks displays. As a result of those, fireworks from the Jacunda Street party were to blame for a 2-alarm residential structure fire in the 100 block of Orchard Place. Both parties left behind a large amount of debris on the streets that will require the help of Public Works to clear away.

Zone 4, a large block party with fireworks in Lewis Park caused several small fires where units responded on two different occasions to put out fires on the dek hockey surface, basketball courts, playground surface and equipment. Large amounts of fireworks debris and boxes were strewn throughout the park.

Several neighborhoods in Zone 5 also launched large displays where police responded to complaints. 

In the 700 block of Bucyrus Street in Zone 6, a 1-alarm residential structure fire resulted from a display box tipping and shooting into the side of a residence after fireworks were launched from it. 

In addition to these incidents, there were several small brush and dumpster fires and cardboard fireworks display boxes that caught fire throughout the city.

Police issued a number of citations and charges will be pursued for some of the more serious incidents. 








Reporting PIO:
Cara Cruz