Paul Riddle, the city’s fire chief, was pleased to report there were no problems as a result of fireworks in South Pasadena neighborhoods on the Fourth of July.
Instead, a large crowd filled the stadium floor and many bleacher seats at Roosevelt Field on the South Pasadena High campus for a commercially-produced fireworks show.
“It was really very quiet,” said Riddle, when asked what fire department officials witnessed when they toured the city late into the night on the Fourth. “We really didn’t see anything and were glad that so many saw the show at the high school.”
While many cities, including neighboring Alhambra, allow “safe and sane” fireworks, they are not permitted within South Pasadena’s city limits, explained Riddle.
The message is, “Don’t push it,” said the fire chief. In Los Angeles County, possession or use of illegal fireworks can range from a fine of up to $1000, to one year in county jail.
“Fireworks are illegal in the City of South Pasadena,” stressed Riddle matter-of-factly, with the exception of the city’s traditional fireworks show at the high school. “Along with the police department, we tell our citizens, ‘If you see something, say something.’ I can tell you, in year’s past our city has been very proactive in reporting illegal fireworks.”
Riddle said extra SPFD staff was on duty during the 4th of July to perform patrols. “We will work alongside our police department to make sure we enforce the law to keep our community safe,” he said, before adding: “We have one of the best fireworks shows in the region. That’s the best place to watch them.”
Not only are consumer fireworks illegal in the city, “they are dangerous,” noted South Pasadena Police Chief Art Miller. “Even the ‘safe and sane’ fireworks in many cases have been proven to cause major injuries.”
The purpose of the 4th of July is to celebrate America, “and do it in a safe manner,” said Miller, also suggesting the idea of going to a commercially produced fireworks show like the one at South Pasadena High was a good choice.”
The police chief said his officers did everything they could to protect local residents during the holiday. “When we get calls of illegal fireworks, we’ll respond to them to keep the community safe,” he said. “If it’s necessary, we’ll confiscate fireworks.”