New law means more boom in Independence Day fireworks

Cullen Holloway
Cullen Holloway
Mike Allendorf
Mike Allendorf

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - For the first time citizens in Louisville Metro can legally buy, sell and set off their very own bottle rockets with a red glare and some bombs bursting in air for Independence Day. It's got some folks excited, others making lots of cash and some fire officials waiting for it to be over.

The Holloway family was looking to get a big bang for their buck this 4th of July in Metro Louisville. Nine-year-old Cullen Holloway wanted ones that fly up in the air and explode. The louder, the better. His mom said anything with a big boom. The sale of exploding fireworks will be something new this year, but it didn't come without a lot of noise from local fire officials.

"There was probably a good 90 minute debate on the pros and cons, said Mike Allendorf, fire marshal of the Okolona Fire District. "Anything you can buy in Tennessee and Indiana is now to be sold in Louisville Metro."

Yes you can buy it, but do you know what you can do with it? You can be arrested or fined if you do not follow all the rules, so what are they? Allendorf said that is the million dollar question.

"The new state law says you cannot set off a firework within 200 feet of a structure, a car, a person or an animal," said Allendorf.

Allendorf does not believe there is a neighborhood in the Metro with an empty 200 feet of land. To be in compliance with the law, that means you must also be able to light the firework and run approximately 66 yards - that's two-thirds of a football field - before that firework goes off.

"We don't have enough officers or fire officials to cite everybody under the 200 foot rule," Allendorf said.

Because each local fire district can make its own rule, Allendorf said you may want to check with your local fire officials to see if they have passed something locally in your area. There is one thing Allendorf know for sure - injuries and fires because of fireworks will escalate.

"We anticipate a rise because these fireworks that were previously outlawed are now easily obtainable here in the Metro," said Allendorf.

All of this could change the beginning of November. The fire officials and the Louisville Metro Council will actually look at the state law again. At that time, they could change it or decide to keep it the same.

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