Illegal fireworks blamed for multiple fires in Oakland, according to police

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- It happens every year, despite efforts by police to head it off, a huge eruption of illegal fireworks over the city of Oakland. There were no reports of injuries, but officials blame at least two fires on the activity.

"I don't think there's anything the police can do to stop it," a resident told ABC7 News.

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Illegal firework shows went on despite efforts by Oakland police and Alameda County sheriff's deputies who both put dozens of extra officers on the streets to try to minimize the dangerous spectacle.

Alameda Co. Sheriff's Sgt. Ray Kelly says there's only so much police can do."It's like putting your finger in the proverbial dike to stop the water. It's just overwhelming the amount of fireworks that are out there," said Kelly.

While there were no reports of serious injury or death, there was some destruction including a garage fire on 52nd Avenue, where Wednesday a large pile of fireworks debris, mixed with shell casings were found in the street.

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"Sometimes you can't know if it's a gunshot or the firecrackers, so that's how people end up getting killed... innocent people, innocent kids. So they do need to bring it down a notch," said Rosa Woods, an Oakland resident.

"I mean the sounds were like boom, boom, boom, boom, boom and it was just like I mean we're celebrating our independence. It's a shame that fireworks cannot be legally sold in the city of Oakland," said Wendell Clark, an Oakland resident.

Alameda Co. Sheriff's deputies seized about 50 pounds of fireworks and issued 8 citations. Oakland police have so far, have issued no citations.

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