Fire Marshal, firefighters, EMS respond to dozens of fireworks-related incidents during New Year’s celebrations in Bexar County

Thousands of calls were made to 911, non-emergency line, fireworks hotline

SAN ANTONIO – Nearly 3,000 fireworks-related calls were made in Bexar County during New Year’s Eve and the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, officials said Thursday.

According to the Bexar County Public Information Office, Fire Dispatch answered 1,610 emergency/911 calls and 1,360 calls were made to the non-emergency line or fireworks hotline. Those calls resulted in 87 documented, fireworks-related incidents.

Some of the more serious incidents include:

  • Bexar County Fire Marshal investigators on Dec. 31 investigated a report of a medical burn in the 9800 block of South WW White Road. A minor accidentally ran into a metal fire pit filled with burning wood. The victim received treatment at the scene and was transported to a hospital for second-degree burns to a leg.
  • Bexar County Emergency Services District 2 on Jan. 1 responded to a report of an eye injury in the 9800 block of Sunset Place, where a 20-year-old man lighting a firework was struck in the eye. The man suffered a laceration underneath the eye and was transported to a hospital for further evaluation.
  • Bexar County Fire Marshal investigators on Jan. 1 responded to a structure fire in the 6800 block of Cape Meadow Drive. Converse Fire Department personnel advised that there was damage to an exterior wall of the residence. The investigation revealed a v-shaped fire pattern and the melted remnants of a trash bin where used fireworks were found. The trash bin actually belonged to a neighbor of the affected residence. The neighbor stated that their family had shot off fireworks and disposed of them in the trash bin. Damage was estimated at $5,000.
  • Emergency Services District 2 responded to a call of a fireworks-related injury. A 26-year-old person had injuries from debris to the forehead. The patient also suffered a serious injury to their hands from a mortar round that exploded as the tube was placed on the ground.

The Fire Marshal’s Office also conducted inspections of 211 fireworks stands, with the following citations issued:

  • Fire Marshal’s inspectors on Dec. 30 issued two violations to an individual at Culebra and Westwood Loop for selling fireworks without obtaining proper permits and for not selling in a stand or an approved manor.
  • Two citations were issued on Dec. 31 to a fireworks stand operator on Talley Road. The permits were revoked and the stand was shut down after the operator was observed by a deputy fire marshal igniting fireworks within about five feet of the firework stand. In addition, open, cold alcoholic beverages were found inside the stand.

The Fire Marshal’s Office said the incidents are a stark reminder that handling of fireworks is inherently dangerous and should be used in a safe and responsible manner.

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David Ibañez has been managing editor of since the website's launch in October 2000.