Fireworks injuries mar holiday weekend; Sheriff's Office responds to 79 fireworks-related complaints in North Kitsap

POULSBO — At least three people were hospitalized over the holiday weekend from incidents involving illegal fireworks in North Kitsap.

A 36-year-old man suffered injuries from a homemade sparkler bomb Saturday on Lillehammer Lane off Pugh Road, according to Poulsbo Fire Department. He was taken to Harrison Medical Center in Bremerton for treatment.

Also on Saturday, a mortar-style firework exploded in the hands of a 44-year-old Seattle man, as he attempted to fire the explosive off a boat in Liberty Bay. The man was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.

A 25-year-old Indianola man was also airlifted to Harborview Medical Center  Monday night, after a mortar-style firework exploded in his hands. The man suffered severe burns and broken bones in his hands, but is expected to make a full recovery, according to family members.

Aside from the injury reports, the holiday weekend was relatively quiet, according to fire officials.

Poulsbo Fire responded to two brush fires. North Kitsap Fire & Rescue crews extinguished a dumpster fire at Billy Johnson Skate Park in Kingston and a fire in the woods off Lindvog Road.

Though the Fourth was sunny, recent rain may have helped dampen potential brush fires, North Kitsap Fire & Rescue spokeswoman Michele Laboda said.

“It was a pretty quiet day,” she said.

Between Friday and Tuesday, the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office responded to 79 fireworks-related complaints in North Kitsap: in Poulsbo, 27; Kingston, 26; Suquamish, 13; Hansville, seven; Indianola, four; and Keyport, two.

Under county code, legal fireworks can only be discharged from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on July 4. Legal fireworks include sparklers, roman candles and other ground-based fireworks. Firecrackers, bottle rockets and mortar-style fireworks are only legal on tribal land. Explosives ranging from cherry bombs to dynamite are illegal on both tribal and non-tribal land, as are improvised or altered fireworks.

The county’s fireworks code is violated early and often each year, Deputy Scott Wilson said, and the Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have the manpower to crackdown on widespread offenses.

“It’s almost impossible to enforce,” Wilson said. “They’re going to light them off, they’re going to disappear, and then they’re going to come back and light off some more.”

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