A viral video from Saturday night shows the moment a fireworks show in Plano, Texas set off a massive grass fire. The city's socially-distant fireworks display was going strong when a burst of fire reached a dried up field, setting off a huge blaze. The fire was contained and no one was injured, according to a report by WFAA 8.
The Plano Event Center hosted the All American 4th Firework Show on Saturday night, with spectators invited to watch from their homes or to park their vehicles nearby and watch from inside, maintaining social distance. The spectacle was meant to be 25 minutes long, but about 19 minutes in, a mortar exploded inside its launching tube, setting off other mortars and causing a fire. As the video shows, viewers knew that something had gone wrong right away.
Plano City’s fireworks fell over and light up the field pic.twitter.com/69xwRUrAie— Iba Cream (@IbrahimElnomro1) July 5, 2020
"No, that's not supposed to be like that!" a bystander called out. Others cried out in shock as well, unsure how bad the error had really gotten.
Apparently, it was bad enough to stop the fireworks show altogether as firefighters who were already on the scene responded to the fire. The blaze looked huge from the distance that most people were watching, but the fire department said that it had been completely contained by 11 p.m. At that point, only a few hot spots remained under observation. There were no injuries in the dramatic blaze, though several acres of the nearby field were burned. There were also road closures to ensure public safety, but all of those were lifted by 11:45 p.m.
Plano was not alone in seeing fireworks get out of control. In the San Francisco Bay Area, firefighters responded to dozens of fires throughout the night, according to a report by The San Francisco Chronicle. Many of them were blamed on illegal fireworks and amateur shows.
"It's unbelievable, they're coming so fast," said a Contra Costa County fire official spokesman, Steve Hill. "If it weren't for the fact that we'd almost doubled our resources, we'd be out at this point."0comments
Over 100 fires were reported in the area, with some burning up acres of vegetation and others threatening homes and businesses. Residents around Anderson Lake were even asked to evacuate their homes at one point. Thankfully, there were no deaths or injuries reported here either.
Authorities were expecting a big uptick in firework-related emergencies this weekend, even by the usual Fourth of July standards. Over the last week, retailers have reported a surge in fireworks sales, with many people hoping to make up for the shows they missed out on due to the coronavirus pandemic.