Official warning: Curb your fireworks


Staff writer

Some folks decided to celebrate the Fourth of July early, and it resulted in two fires and one arrest last weekend in Federal Way and a warning from officials: Fireworks are illegal here.

At about 5 p.m. on Sunday, firefighters were called to a blaze in a vacant lot at 28th and South 353rd Street. A camper trailer was on fire in the lot and firefighters struggled to put out the blaze and not allow two five-gallon propane tanks from getting into the fire.

Investigators determined the fire started because the camper, which was abandoned, was filled with combustible material.

A 20-year-old man was arrested after admitting he tossed a two-inch mortar into the abandoned recreational trailer.

Investigators are recommending he be charged with second-degree arson, according to officials.

It’s the second arson charge this month in Federal Way. Fireworks are always banned in the city.

About four hours later, firefighters were called to the Campus Green Apartments at Fifth Ave South and 323rd Place. Residents heard a loud ex

Residents heard a loud explosion and saw smoke. When firefighters arrived they found what appeared to be a homemade explosive in the street and remnants of tape and explosive material.

Both Federal Way Fire Department and Federal Way Police Department are asking citizens to not shoot off fireworks in Federal Way as it is against the city’s law. People can shoot fireworks in King County only on July 4.

Many cities, and some counties, around the state ban personal fireworks outright.

Federal Way Police officials say officers will be citing people in the city who light fireworks and a “dedicated team” of officers will respond to fireworks complaints and enforce the city’s law against pyrotechnics.

In 2004, the fire department responded to 17 fires related to illegal fireworks between June 28 and July 6th. Most of those fires - 10 - were on July 4th.

Staff writer Mike Halliday: 925-5565,

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