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Landscaping fire Tuesday near Fred Meyer linked to illegal fireworks

A fire in the landscaping below the City View Church on Southwest Sunset Boulevard sent a plume of smoke over downtown Renton near Fred Meyer at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The fire was started by what fire officials describe as a modified fireworks device; fireworks are illegal in the city. Investigators talked with witnesses who saw two  juveniles running from the area before the fire.  - Charles Cortes/Renton Reporter
A fire in the landscaping below the City View Church on Southwest Sunset Boulevard sent a plume of smoke over downtown Renton near Fred Meyer at about 2:30 p.m. Tuesday. The fire was started by what fire officials describe as a modified fireworks device; fireworks are illegal in the city. Investigators talked with witnesses who saw two juveniles running from the area before the fire.
— image credit: Charles Cortes/Renton Reporter

Since 2005, it has been illegal for individuals to discharge fireworks in Renton all year long, including the Fourth of July.

It is also illegal to sell or possess fireworks within the city limits.

Tuesday afternoon, Renton fire crews put out a fire on Southwest Sunset Boulevard near Fred Meyer in some church landscaping. Witnesses saw two juveniles run away from the area just before the fire, which surrounded a fire hydrant.

“The fireworks ban is in place to protect citizens and their property and it is working,” said Renton Fire Chief Mark Peterson. “Since 2005, we have seen a significant reduction in the number of painful injuries and costly property losses related to the use of fireworks.”

In 2009 there were 31 fireworks related calls on the Fourth of July, compared to 115 fireworks incidents the previous year.

Violators face criminal and civil citations, confiscation of fireworks and fines of $100 to $500. Additionally, the sale, possession, or use of explosive devices such as M-80s, M-100s, and homemade or modified fireworks are felony offenses, and violators will face criminal prosecution. To report violators, call 911.

Renton residents are encouraged to attend Renton’s public fireworks display at 10 p.m. Sunday, July 4, at Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park, 1201 Lake Washington Blvd.

For more information about the fireworks ban, call the Renton Fire and Emergency Services Department at 425-430-7000.

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