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Residents Continue Buying Fireworks Amid Burn Bans

By Emily Cassulo
By ecassulo@wbbjtv.com

MEDINA, Tenn. - It is just two days before the Fourth of July, and this year may not seem as traditional.

A growing number of West Tennessee cities are banning fireworks because it is so dry, and at least two cities have cancelled their fireworks shows.

Even though several cities are banning fireworks, it still is not keeping many West Tennesseans from celebrating.

Charles Pettigrew may live in Milan, but he said a fireworks ban is not stopping him.

"We're going to shoot some off in Gibson because we've got land outside of the city limits," Pettigrew said.

And he is not alone.

"I'm going to take my girls. They'll probably go and visit their grandparents in another county where they are legal and they'll be safe," said Jackson resident Anthony Bowman.

A few customers who live in Madison County would not talk on camera, saying they are still planning to set them off, even though it has been illegal there for a long time.

This year, several West Tennessee cities are joining Madison County because it is so dry.

The city of Medina decided to ban fireworks, and even rescheduled its fireworks show for Labor Day.

Despite the bans, workers told 7 Eyewitness News their most popular fireworks this year are artillery shells, which are one of the most dangerous ones they sell.

Others are just keeping it simple.

"It's just really some basic stuff to enjoy the colors and have the enjoyment that I had growing up as a kid, enjoying the fireworks," Bowman said.

Residents said they are not worried about the dry conditions, saying it is always hot and dry at this time of year.

"I've been doing it for so many years that all you've got to do is have some water around and put the fire out if one starts," Pettigrew said.

They agree this year's fireworks ban is not going to keep them from having some fun.

Medina Police Chief Chad Lowery said they will have additional officers out on July 4 to enforce the ban.

If you are caught with them the first time, it is a verbal warning. A second time? They will get taken away.
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