Cascade of illegal fireworks dampens flare of July 4th in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Another July 4th came and went in Oakland with another cascade of illegal fireworks that police seem powerless to stop.

Even 17 hours after the professional fireworks shows had ended, the amateurs were still at it in Oakland. As ABC7 News and Oakland City Councilman Noel Gallo found out while he was talking with a constituent.

BOOM -- a firework went off close by.

"I live a block, two blocks away from here and it's the worst I've ever seen," Gallo said.

Debris littered the street and piled into garbage containers. it includes bottle rockets and mortars, all illegal. They carry the possibility of fines and arrests and definitely triggered fear among residents as far away as Lake Merritt.

RELATED: Contra Costa County deals with danger of illegal fireworks on 4th of July

Andrea Burnett of Oakland said, "It got really, really bad and really, really scary at some moments and I'm thinking, 'Are those fireworks or is that gunfire?'"

Oakland police were out last night trying to keep some semblance of order. Officers wrote 64 citations, 56 for fireworks.

Police made five arrests, towed 1 vehicle, confiscated fireworks in 15 cases, and issued 12 warnings.

Gallo said the only real solution is educating residents about the laws against fireworks and the dangerous consequences of starting fires, because it's clear from talking to them that police are overwhelmed

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