Cleburne Times-Review, Cleburne, TX

Cleburne

December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Officials: Fireworks illegal in city, often unsafe

Wikipedia, the Internet encyclopedia, defines firework as “a low explosive pyrotechnic device used primarily for aesthetic and entertainment purposes.”

In the city of Cleburne, firework is defined as something that will cost you money if you get caught with it by legal authorities and something that can cost you fingers or an eye if you do something particularly stupid with it.

Such as light it.

There will nonetheless by those who insist on shooting off fireworks in the city limits tonight when the last bowl game of the day is over, and there’s nothing else for them to do besides go outside and make fools of themselves.

Illegal fools, at that.

Just remember, fools, you’re being watched by people who take a dim view of law violators.

“The fire marshal [Bill Wright] and my investigator [Curtis Jones] will be patrolling,” Fire Chief Clint Ishmael said. “The police department will be out in full force. All the agencies work closely together.”

You won’t go to prison for shooting off a firework in the city limits — unless you do something else bad at the same time, like maim your neighbor with an ATV while going to buy more bottle rockets.

“We have four people [in the firefighting sphere] who are peace officers and can make arrests,” Ishmael said. “Typically, we don’t make arrests for fireworks because it’s a Class C misdemeanor. We issue the ticket and confiscate the fireworks.

“We issue more tickets for fireworks on July 4th than New Year’s Eve. That doesn’t count the times we wade into a crowd, collect the fireworks and not issue tickets simply because there are so many people in the crowd.”

So, what exactly is the law on fireworks in Cleburne? Basically, don’t even think about having a sparkler in your hands when a vehicle with a siren goes by.

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