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Fireworks-related fires down nearly 73 percent from last year

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 1:47 a.m. HST, Jan 2, 2013

Firefighters responded to at least six fireworks-related incidents from New Year's Eve through Tuesday morning on Oahu.

That's way down from the 22 seen when Hawaii rang in 2012.

Meanwhile, five fireworks-related injuries were reported. One was serious, involving a Hawaii Kai man who was setting off illegal fireworks. In a second incident in Kalihi, also involving illegal fireworks, four people sustained injuries and were taken to the hospital in stable condition.

"We're encouraged by the fact that there seems to be a reduction in fireworks-related fires, but there continues to be some significant injuries caused from fireworks," said Honolulu Fire Department spokesman Capt. Terry Seelig.

The six fireworks-related incidents that HFD responded to included one small structure fire, which caused about $500 in damage, and five rubbish or dumpster fires.

The small structure fire was caused when a small child dropped a sparkler, setting fire to papers on a desk. Bystanders helped put out the flames with garden hoses.

Under a law that went into effect in 2011, only firecrackers are allowed to be set off on New Year's, and only with a permit. Fountains, sparklers and other novelty fireworks are not legal.

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