WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— If you plan to celebrate the upcoming summer holidays with fireworks there could be a change in plans.
Wilkes-Barre City Council could vote to severely restrict fireworks in the city.
The latest debate in the city council is causing sparks to fly on Thursday Wilkes-Barre’s City Council voted to change the city’s firework ordinance.
Eyewitness News spoke with locals on both sides of the aisle who voiced their opinions and concerns about this issue.
Over the last several years, the dangers of fireworks in the City of Wilkes-Barre have raised concern, and with good reason.
In 2021 a home was destroyed and a family of 8 was displaced after an aerial firework landed on their back porch and sparked a fire.
“Wilkes-Barre is a fairly compacted city we have over 500 hundred streets hopefully everyone will see that that’s not a great idea in the city of wilkesbarre and the threat to the health and safety of their neighboors should override their need to have fun,” said Charles McCormick Wilkes-Barre City Administrator.
Immediately after the fire Mayor Brown and Chief Delany asked for the resident’s association and Wilkes-Barre crime watch to seek a door-to-door petition to change the ordinance.
In just a few months it received a little less than 1000 votes.
Linda Joseph, President of the Rolling Mill Hill Resident’s Association says the danger is too great and something had to change.
“Oh we are thrilled to at least be able to get it under more control would be a big big help and then others I would hope that others from municipalities take Wilkes-Barre’s lead,” added Joseph.
If passed by the council the change in ordinance would make it illegal to set off fireworks within 150 feet of a structure.
The owner of a local small firework outlet didn’t want to speak on camera but told Eyewitness News it’s not fair to punish all fireworks sellers and consumers just because of the careless actions of a few.
Wilkes-Barre City Council will vote on the ban sometime in June.