WORCESTER, Mass. — On Tuesday night, Worcester homeowner Libis Bueno was watching TV when he heard a loud bang from his front yard.
Libis wasn’t sure if the sound was a gunshot, a car backfiring, or something else.
So, he checked his video surveillance system and there it was: a firework exploding on his front yard, narrowly missing his house.
“To my surprise, it was a firework that had hit the house and exploded,” Libis told me. “What if we weren’t home? The grass was dry, the house could have caught fire.”
Just over a week ago, on Preston Street, authorities say fireworks caused heavy damage to a triple-decker, leaving eleven people homeless.
The increased use of illegal fireworks has residents rattled in cities all across New England.
In Worcester, the city recently established an anonymous fireworks tip line. In a week, 900 people have called it.
“We have never experienced this level, this early,” Worcester Deputy Fire Chief Martin Dyer said. “So it’s a little scary thinking about what’s coming up with July 4.”
Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, but they are legal in other states, like nearby New Hampshire where sales are historically strong during the summer season.
In Worcester, police are stepping up nightly patrols to try to encourage people not to use fireworks.
Libis Bueno owns a home security firm.
He tells me he is even offering to donate a video surveillance system to the city to try to help quiet the streets.
“I think a little more surveillance, a little more patrolling would certainly be helpful,” Bueno said.
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