MCCLELLAN PARK, Calif. (KTXL) — Arson and bomb investigators stopped a group from Kern County, who were allegedly unlicensed and offered to put on display shows, California State Fire Marshal Mike Richwine announced in a press conference in Sacramento County on Thursday.
“Not only did we find that this group was allegedly unlicensed, but they were found to be in possession of fireworks that had counterfeit state fire marshal seals,” Richwine said. “And they were in possession of homemade explosives that could’ve been a danger to the public. We’re working closely with the district attorney’s office on this case, but we believe they violated at least 15 fireworks and explosives laws and regulations.”
Richwine added that the alleged company fraudulently contracted with nearly a dozen cities across the state to perform the Fourth of July fireworks shows. The fire marshal said those cities are “left trying to find fireworks companies.”
The cities that were contracted with the alleged company were not named in the presser.
CAL FIRE told FOX40 these were the following locations and cities that the alleged fraudulent company had contracts with:
- City of Laguna Niguel
- City of Lancaster
- City of Watsonville
- City of Imperial Beach
- City of Lynwood
- City of Madera
- Oakmont Country Club, Glendale
- El Caballero Country Club, Tarzana
- Wilshire Country Club, Los Angeles
- San Diego Country Club
- Camp Pendleton
The fire marshal, officials from the Sacramento City Fire and Sacramento Metro Fire departments, and the Sacramento County District’s Attorney’s Office urged the public about fireworks safety in a joint press conference on Wednesday.
According to Richwine, illegal fireworks propel into the air, explode and travel across the ground uncontrollably. “Safe and sane” fireworks always have the Fire Marshal’s seal displayed on the box, Richwine said.
Illegal fireworks include sky rockets, bottle rockets, roman candles, aerial shells and firecrackers, according to CAL FIRE.
Keith Wade with the Sacramento City Fire Department urged the public to celebrate the holiday responsibly, as “safe and sane” fireworks can still spark a fire when used improperly, he said.
Wade offered these tips to stay safe when lighting up “safe and sane” fireworks:
- Make sure you’re in a clear area
- Make sure there are no available fuels or anything that can spark a fire nearby
- Make sure an adult is using fireworks
- Keep children away from using fireworks
- Make sure to have devices (fire extinguish, garden hose, buckets of water) to extinguish fireworks when you’re done or in the event of a fire
- Do not elevate fireworks when using them
- When done, dump the fireworks in a bucket of water and let them soak overnight