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FRIDAY, JULY 6, 2007
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No fires, fireworks injuries reported in area on holiday

By Bayne Hughes
hughes@decaturdaily.com 340-2432

Authorities in Morgan, Lawrence and Limestone counties reported a few fireworks complaints, but no related fires or injuries to mar the Fourth of July.

Despite the drought, local 911 centers and the Lawrence County Emergency Management Agency, which handles fire calls, said there were no fireworks-related fires.

The five area hospitals said Independence Day was a safe affair with no reports of fireworks-related injuries.

"People were very cautious this year because of the drought," said Rhonda Dunlap of Lawrence County EMA.

"We had a lot of phone calls from people wanting to the know the rules, and we didn't have any problems. A lot of people, like my son, just decided not to shoot fireworks this year," she said.

City police departments of Decatur, Hartselle, Athens and Moulton said they did not issue any citations even though shooting fireworks is illegal within their city limits.

Most officers asked violators to cease or they confiscated the fireworks before issuing a citation.

Lt. Chris Mathews of the Decatur Police Department said officers answered 85 firework-related calls or complaints between Wednesday at 6 p.m. and Thursday at 2:30 a.m., which is about average for the holiday.

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