Firework vendors not selling bottle rockets for July Fourth

Burn ban behind voluntary sale suspension

By Garrett Brnger - Reporter

SAN ANTONIO - Firework stands around Bexar County are already popping with sales, but you won't find one popular firework on the shelf this Fourth of July -- bottle rockets.

Vendors have voluntarily agreed not to sell rockets with sticks and missiles with fins due to a burn ban enacted earlier this month that will extend through the holiday, Bexar County Fire Marshal Chris Lopez said.

Lopez said bottle rocket-style fireworks can be hazardous because they can easily start a fire.

The containers or tubes travel hundreds of feet up in the air, and can get tossed hundreds of feet to the side by winds, and when they land, the containers can still be burning, Lopez said.

"And that's what causes grass fires typically, and brush fires," Lopez said.

Stacy Kagebein, a sales representative at the Alamo Fireworks Megastore off Interstate 35 South, said suspending sales of bottle rockets was a no-brainer.

"Not really a difficult decision," Khebein said. "I think that the safety of the public is probably more important than selling the fireworks. So, absolutely we pulled them with no hesitation at all."

Lopez also asked residents not to shoot off rockets with sticks or missiles with fins.

"We don't need our resources taxed to the point where, you know, we're stretched thin on manpower and equipment because someone wasn't responsible," he said.

Lopez said residents won't be punished if they do shoot off bottle rockets because there's no ban against them. 

But he said if someone is reckless with fireworks and causes damage, they could face arson charges.

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