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Some Oakland Residents Seek Federal Help To Crack Down On Illegal Fireworks Displays

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4th header02 Some Oakland Residents Seek Federal Help To Crack Down On Illegal Fireworks DisplaysFIND BAY AREA FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATIONS

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — Residents in Oakland say it’s like a war zone when illegal fireworks go off every July 4th. Fed up with the lack of police response, some are seeking federal help.
Every 4th of July along Oakland’s 14th Avenue, neighbors say the fireworks begin when the sun goes down and don’t stop until the early hours of the morning.

“This is a form of terrorism, as far as I’m concerned,” said Wendy Jung, who has lived in the neighborhood for 30 years.

Ann Barnett has lived along 14th Avenue for 20 years. “Fireworks themselves are great, I’ve always celebrated those. But these aren’t just fireworks. These are extremely dangerous fireworks that are not meant for people in neighborhoods to handle,” she said.

They said they can’t even enjoy the holiday anymore because they have to stay home and make sure the embers that land on their rooftops don’t burn the house down.

“We have got to respect the laws. We have got to respect our neighbors. We have got to respect the fact that this is a fragile environment that can catch fire at any time,” said Oakland City Councilmember Libby Schaaf.

Schaaf is holding a town hall on fire danger Thursday night at the Dimond Recreation Center. She says both the police and fire chiefs have insisted that phone lines will be manned on July 4th and that people should call them.

But for neighbors of the 14th Avenue fireworks show, they say they’ve given up on city leaders. They are now asking Federal ATF agents to get involved.

“This is dangerous activity. This is not fun, this is dangerous,” Jung said.

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