AFR making house calls in neighborhoods with reports of illegal fireworks

Local News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Albuquerque Fire Rescue is hoping a gentle approach will get people to stop using illegal fireworks. Monday, KRQE News 13 rode along as the fire marshal stopped by homes where there have been 311 reports, to have a friendly chat.

Fourth of July is just around the corner and if you live in the city you have probably heard the boom of illegal fireworks. Fireworks that shoot more than ten feet high or six feet to the side are not allowed in the city of Albuquerque and AFR is working to make sure people understand the risks and consequences.

“These people have had multiple complaints against them, so we take it a step further and do a knock and talk,” said Deputy Chief Gene Gallegos, fire marshal for the city of Albuquerque. So they’re paying house calls in neighborhoods where there have been reports. Gallegos says there are not trying to bust people.

“We want to give people the benefit of the doubt. People sometimes do not understand the rules and regulations of the city,” said Gallegos. After AFR responded to more than 50 fires around Albuquerque the last 4th of July, Gallegos hopes his knock and talks will cut down on the number of people setting off dangerous devices this weekend.

“A lot of times we don’t really think of around the neighborhood how many people have PTSD, we have a lot of veterans, mentally ill, animals, small children,” Gallegos said. He says fireworks purchased within Albuquerque city limits are legal. An easy way to tell if they’re allowed in the city is if they display the word ‘caution.’ The word ‘warning’ on the other hand means they are not allowed.

If you get caught using illegal fireworks, you can face a $500 fine and up to 90 days in jail. AFR asks people to report their firework complaints to the 311 hotlines or website because it allows them to track the problem areas.

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