As the Fourth of July and summer celebrations approach, Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, fire Chief Eric Smith and police Chief Edward Conley would like to remind residents that the use of fireworks is illegal in Massachusetts.

It is illegal to use, possess or sell fireworks of any kind in Massachusetts, including Class C fireworks. Class C fireworks include sparklers, party poppers, snappers, firecrackers, spinners, cherry bombs and more. Additionally, residents are prohibited from purchasing fireworks elsewhere and transporting them into the state.

The Gloucester Police Department will be adding special patrols over the coming weeks to respond to late night illegal fireworks activity. Residents can make fireworks complaints by calling 978-283-1212.

"Residents should take the ban on firework use very seriously in order to protect the safety of themselves and their neighbors," Conley said in a prepared statement. "There are a multitude of ways to safely celebrate the Fourth of July without fireworks and spending the day in the emergency room shouldn't be one of them."

From 2010to 2019, use of illegal fireworks caused 12 civilian injuries, 40 firefighter injuries, 858 major fires and explosions, and a loss of approximately $2.9 million, according to the Massachusetts Fire Incident Reporting System.

"With many communities cancelling their Fourth of July fireworks displays, we want to remind residents that they cannot and should not try to make up for the loss with their displays," Romeo Theken said in the statement. "The safety of our residents is a top priority for all of us, and not engaging in the illegal use of these dangerous items is one way to go about achieving that goal."

Residents should also be aware that a recent lack of rain has caused extremely dry conditions for grass and brush. Errant fireworks are a fire hazard to both homes and forests.

"We wish all Gloucester residents a safe and happy Fourth of July," Smith said. "This is best achieved by avoiding firework use and the dangers that accompany it."


In other news taken from the logs of Gloucester’s police and fire departments:

Sunday, June 28

7:44 p.m.: The owner of Home Style Laundry at 212 Main St. reported that a man was attempting to take other people's laundry. The suspected thief, reported to be tall and wearing a blue shirt, left prior to the police's arrival. 

2:58 p.m.: Police were dispatched to 54 Langsford St. for a report of vandalism. Upon arrival, a woman stated that her neighbor had removed the cover of her lawn mower while it was raining. She witnessed her neighbor do this with his cane and she believes that he is mad at her about a previous incident. 

7:12 p.m.: Fireworks were reported to  be going off at the Fort Playground at Fort Square. 

10:27 a.m.: A 29 Willow St. resident reported that she believes her neighbor had vandalized a tree on her property. Days prior to this incident, the woman was discussing ways to prune her tree when her neighbor infringed on her conversation and told her she'd be better off killing it. Her neighbor went on to describe how he would kill it. Days later, the 29 Willow St. resident went to her backyard to find her tree with what looked like chisel marks and paint thinner around the tree. She believes that her neighbor is the one who vandalized the tree given the detailed remarks he had made to her. The resident added that there has been an ongoing dispute with her and this neighbor in regards to property lines. 

6:29 a.m.: A caller reported that a person on Nautilus Road looks like he or she is smoking "crack" or some other type of substance by the footbridge. The caller states that the person is in a black Toyota mid-size SUV. Police confirmed that the person by the footbridge is sitting in her car reading a book. 

Saturday, June 27

12:52 p.m.: A woman came to the police station to report suspicious activity by a man known to her as "Manny" who has been coming into her work place multiple times a day. The man has increased his visits and recently gave her some paperwork asking her to be a paid personal aide. She then showed the paperwork to a relative who is a nurse and she believed it to be fraudulent paperwork. The woman explained that the man has started to come to her work place at closing time and parks in the parking lot. 

8:11 a.m.: Animal Control was dispatched to a home on Elm Street for a report of a juvenile seagull. 

12:47 a.m.: A man was reported to be yelling obscenities on Centennial Avenue and walking towards Western Avenue. 

12:45 a.m.: A caller reported that he was receiving disgruntled messages via Facebook. 

12:04 a.m.: A person, possibly wearing "Fiesta Whites," was reported screaming obscenities in the area of Pavilion Beach. The person told officers he had lost his phone. 

Friday, June 26

9:07 p.m.: Fireworks were reported in the area of 35 Hodgkins St. and 3 Kirk Rd. 

8:45 p.m.: Police were dispatched to 88 Pleasant St. to take a report of trespassing. The calling party reported that a man has been coming onto the property and staying in a room where he does not live. The caller continued to explain that the man parks his motor vehicle in various locations surrounding the apartment complex and often sneaks inside. A notice was reportedly placed on the community billboard in the common area but was taken down by the alleged trespasser. The caller expressed her concerns about the alleged trespasser, explaining that he is often seen sneaking around the halls, using profanity to other residents, and has been making indirect threats. Another resident confirmed the caller's concerns. Police attempted to call and knock on room 204 but received no answer both times. A report was put on file to document the incident and police advised the caller to also notify the Gloucester Housing Authority. 

7:32 p.m.: A caller from 18 Exchange St. reported that her daughter's bike was stolen from the driveway. The bike is pink with hand brakes and pegs. 

7:32 p.m.: A caller reported that people were drinking on Pavilion Beach on Commercial Street. A small group dispersed without incident when arrived and advised them of the city ordinance regarding alcohol on a public beach. 

6:35 p.m.: Individuals were reported to be drinking at Lane's Cove on Duley Street. 

5:49 p.m.: A possible fight was reported at Lane's Cove on Andrews Street. Police found no disturbance. 

3:33 p.m.: A caller from Veterans Way reported that someone had attempted to break into her home. The door was reported to be wedged open. The caller explained to responding officers that she had put the trash out the night before and that she had locked the rear outside door. The next day she found that someone may have attempted to gain entry by forcing the wooden panel of the door. 

2:30 p.m.: An unknown caller from Washington Square reported that a dog was barking in a house. The information was transferred to the building inspector's office. 

1:45 p.m.: A person walked in to the station to report that someone had opened up an unemployment claim in her name of which she was notified by letter on May 27. She explained that she had received paperwork indicating that she had attempted to file for unemployment under her maiden name, which she reported she had never done. 

1:28 p.m.: A sick looking fox was reported in the area of Trask Street. Animal control patrolled for public safety. 

1:19 p.m.: A group was reported to be causing a disturbance at Good Harbor Beach. An area search could not find the reported group. 

11:56 a.m.: Two hypodermic needles were recovered at the Residential Condos at 88 Prospect St., Apt. 1, and disposed of safely.

10:38 a.m.: Animal control checked the area of Bass Avenue for a report of a juvenile coyote that had been seen by multiple citizens. 

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