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Police in Northeast Ohio crack down on illegal fireworks

5:29 PM, Jul 3, 2012   |    comments
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CANTON -- It is a law that many people find laughable.

The tradition of blasting fireworks at July 4th celebrations continues in the neighborhoods and back yards of Ohio, even though it's a crime.

Salesman Ed Littera is trying to make a buck selling the so-called legal fireworks...smokers and sparklers on this North Ridgeville corner.

"It is an absolute a joke," Littera said.

North Royalton home owner Steven Grasser was arrested last weekend for allegedly setting a field on fire shooting off fireworks.

Unfortunately for him, he's living in a community that just adopted a no-tolerance policy.

"We're trying to take a proactive stance, not a reactive stance and talk about what could have been done if a house burns down or someone gets hurt," Law Director Bruce Campbell said.

The sale of bottle rockets, firecrackers, and repeater rockets that explode in the sky like the pyrotechnic motherlode are completely legal to sell for licensed dealers.

You just can't fire them off in the state of Ohio.

Buyers must first sign a waiver, promising to take their purchases out of the state within 48 hours. It's a promise rarely kept.

"It's enevitable, but we stress our customers abide by local ordinances," Phantom Fireworks Manager Jonathan Kanos said.

The law is no illegal fireworks and their use is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine. This year, more communities are cracking down.


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