Police officers, fire crews busy on the Fourth of July
by Joel Danoy
Jul 12, 2013 | 2210 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tracy police and fire officials received 100 calls for illegal fireworks on the Fourth of July, though only one injury was reported as a result of the celebrations, while the animal shelter saw an influx of lost dogs.

The Tracy Fire Department fielded 34 calls about illegal fireworks and 16 fire calls from 7 p.m. to midnight July 4, according to Division Chief Steve Hanlon.

Of the 16 fires, firefighters went to eight grass fires, four trash fires and three fence fires and battled a two-house fire on Cloudview Court in Glenbriar Estates at 11:15 p.m. that caused $59,000 in damage, Hanlon said.

A trash can next to a house caught fire when used fireworks — still smoldering — were placed inside by the homeowner, according to Hanlon. The flames spread to a fence and then to a neighbor’s house, he said.

“We see this kind of thing all the time when people don’t dispose of fireworks properly,” he said.

No illegal fireworks were confiscated. Hanlon said the department was “so busy” with its calls that it couldn’t offer much help with enforcing the fireworks laws.

“We’re running calls nonstop, and the other cities around us are doing the same,” he said. “It’s probably the one day a year that the mutual aid system comes to a halt. If something big happens, we have to handle it ourselves.”

There were also no injury reports received by the fire department, Hanlon said. The division chief noted that one man was reportedly burned by a fence fire, but he left before receiving treatment.

According to the Tracy Police Department call log, a 1-year-old child was burned by fireworks on the 300 block of Acacia Street around 9:20 p.m. July 4. The mother refused medical attention, and the child was taken to Sutter Tracy Community Hospital. No other details were available.

The department received 64 calls for illegal fireworks on July Fourth, but the log doesn’t show any arrests or citations relating to illegal fireworks activities.

Ben Miller, director of the Tracy Animal Shelter, said on Wednesday, July 9, that 27 dogs had been taken in by the shelter since July Fourth. The busiest day was Friday, July 5, when eight dogs arrived.

Only six dogs were returned to owners during that time period, and Miller said it was unclear if any of those dogs had been at the shelter before the holiday.

“We’ll be having dogs coming in for the next week or so,” he said. “The week after (July Fourth) is always three to four times busier than our normal average. We still have a pretty full house here.”

Miller encouraged owners of missing dogs to visit the shelter, 370 Arbor Ave., and check for their pets.

He said a $20 holding fee would be assessed, and owners are subject to a daily shelter fee of $15 and a $35 fee if the dog isn’t registered with the state, vaccinated or fixed.
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