OAKLAND, Calif. - Firefighters have put out at least three fires overnight as illegal fireworks have been popping off all over Oakland and San Francisco, with residents ringing in the Fourth of July with noisy booms, sideshows and forbidden pyrotechnics.
The exact causes of the fires at an Oakland commercial building at 42nd and Telegraph Avenue and a warehouse in the 900 block of 77th Avenue are not yet known, but the blazes coincide with the eruption of firecrackers all over the city into the wee hours of Monday morning. There was at least one other significant fire at a home at 12th and East 23rd in Oakland as well.
Fireworks were found on the roof of the warehouse building, officials said.
"The city, throughout the course of the evening has had several fires," Oakland Fire Battalion Chief James Bowron said.
On Sunday, Oakland firefighters said they responded to 40 calls of illegal fireworks going off around the city.
In San Francisco, cell phone video captured illegal fireworks going off in the Mission District as people also watched a sideshow with drivers doing illegal maneuvers in the middle of the street. By Monday morning, firefighters said they responded to at least four fires at 20th and Irving streets, 19th and York streets, 3rd Street and Kirkwood Avenue and at 19th and Bryant streets.
In the East Bay, officials confiscated hundreds of pounds of illegal fireworks including from two men who had 600 pounds of illegal fireworks inside a van parked in Newark. And in Contra Costa County, firefighters put out a total of 53 starting after Sunday at 5 p.m. That included five buildings and 48 grass fires or fires that did not burn inside a building. One of those was in Antioch, where fireworks landed on the roof of a building.
No serious injuries were reported as a result of any of these incidents.
Back in Oakland, people on Twitter wrote that it was loudest night they can remember and they were still reporting blasts long past midnight.
Most official fireworks shows ended by 10 p.m. on Sunday but illegal fireworks started even before the sanctioned ones, like the festivities at the Oakland Coliseum at the A's game.
Officials had been trying to get the word out ahead of the 4th of July holiday about the dangers of illegal fireworks especially during these dry and hot conditions.
Deputy Fire Chief Nick Luby aid this type of activity is something they deal with every year – and they are already making plans for the next Fourth of July.
"Every year we re-analyze the hotspots," Ruby said. "fater everything settles down this evening and throughout the weekend, we'll go back and look where calls for service came in and we'll start creating strategies for next year 4th of July and see how we can enhance our service capabilities to meet the community's risk."
There’s no word how many arrest have been made, or how many of the overnight fires were caused by fireworks.
Last week, the Oakland police department made a huge fireworks bust, where they confiscated more than 100 pounds of illegal fireworks and recovered $1,000.
Even safe and sane fireworks are illegal in oakland and can result in a fine of up to $1,000.
Collection barrels have been placed in several locations around Oakland for people to surrender their unused fireworks.