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Fire official urges safe New Year's celebrations

Megan Hix

By Megan Hix
Dec. 27, 2017 at 11:53 p.m.

With burn bans lifted around East Texas, Longview Fire Marshal Kevin May is urging  residents to celebrate the new year safely.  (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal File  Photo)

With burn bans lifted around East Texas, a fire official is urging residents to celebrate the new year safely.

Longview Fire Marshal Kevin May said fireworks always carry a risk of injury and a chance of starting a fire, so residents should keep a fire extinguisher on standby.

Fireworks aren't allowed in the city limits, but May said the fire department still gets reports of fireworks going off in Longview, which could lead to a citation.

He said people should call 911 sooner, rather than later, if they see a fire starting.

"If the fire starts getting out of control and can't be contained with a bucket of water, they should call 911 immediately," May said. "It's always better to call than to let it get out of hand."

May also encouraged parents to supervise minors shooting off fireworks.

He said adults should avoid drinking alcohol if they plan to use fireworks and should stay alert in case of any fireworks going off prematurely.

He said the recent rainfall might help curb fires, but high winds have kept much of the area fairly dry.

In addition to possible fines for using fireworks inside the city limits, there are other ways fireworks could be costly, May said.

"If somebody starts a fire on their neighbor's property, they can be held liable," May said.

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