Northeast Ohio police confiscate and destroy illegal fireworks

Cleveland and parma police burn illegal fireworks

CLEVELAND - Early holiday firework explosions are already taking place throughout Northeast Ohio, but you probably won't see any of them.

Police departments throughout the area are seizing and destroying tons of illegal fireworks. The planned explosions are necessary for law enforcement to keep the illegal fireworks off the streets. 

Last Friday, more that $37,000 worth of illegal fireworks were confiscated from a Cleveland home.  The cache was so large, Cleveland's bomb squad decided to blow up only half of it at one time.

On Tuesday, the Parma bomb squad destroyed illegal fireworks they've been seizing for the last 12 months. Commander of the Parma bomb squad, Franco Lanza, said it's a problem every year.

"Unfortunately, it's a big problem because you can buy the fireworks 1.4Gs, class Cs, you can buy them anywhere. But you have 48 hours to transport them out of the state of Ohio... Most people don't."

Lanza said destroying the fireworks is expensive and takes careful planning.

"We have to dig a ditch, soak it with kerosene, diesel fuel, pile it up with wooden crates and we light it up electronically."

In addition to their own manpower, officers have to call in the fire department to contain any fires created by the burning explosives.

Lanza recommends staying on the safe side of the law and watching fireworks exploded by professionals.

"If you want to see the fireworks, go see them at a display where they're regulated and they're secure and have fun."

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