To the editor:
I have lived in Lawrence for a number of years, and each July 4th the level of noise tends to get louder and crazier and the products purchased more dangerous. Years ago, the items that most people purchased were the firecrackers, cherry bombs or M-80’s.
In this day and age, there are more options. The most common are the “500-grams” of firepower that will shoot rockets into the sky as high as 40 to 50 feet. They come in blocks of 16 to 30 and the will go off one after another.
I live in South Lawrence, and for the last three evenings there has been a constant display of the 500-grams being shot into the sky in the Brookfield Street neighborhood. Last evening, on the 5th of July, this display began about 8:15 and continued well past 11. I drove up and down the side streets this morning and these boxes of firepower littered the streets and sidewalks, I counted at least 25 of them on just a few streets.
Naturally, the police were called multiple times. I was told that a cruiser went to the area, saw people in the street and of course, at that point, seeing the police, they did not fire off their rockets.
But, my biggest concern here is that this is a tragedy waiting to happen. One of these days soon, one of those boxes is going to misfire and those rockets are going to go right through an open window and there will be an instant fire. The Brookfield Street area is all older, multi-family homes, one on top of another. That scenario could kill some innocent people and destroy their homes.
I am urging the Fire Department and the City Council to take a look at this and to do something before life and property are lost. These products are illegal in Massachusetts and are best left to those in New Hampshire who have the appropriate amount of property to accommodate such a display.