Browsing Tag: fireworks


    Scariest Night of My Life

    July 4, 2016

    You’ve probably thought through that hypothetical situation, What would you grab if you had to evacuate your house because of a fire?

    Tonight — well, technically last night, July 3, and this morning, July 4 — I found out the answer: my laptop, iPhone, iPad and similar electronic devices. The kids did pretty much the same. Cari grabbed her electronics, but also our wedding album and another photo album. All because what we assume is a fireworks-caused fire that began a few hundred yards west of our house, and pretty quickly headed in our direction across the dry, brush-filled fields behind us.

    Sean and I noticed the fire at about 11:40 pm, I’d guess. It was off in the distance and seemed to be pretty small. Then it got bigger. We called 911 at 11:45 and they were already aware of the fire. By about 12:15 or 12:20 am, there were 4-5 fire trucks surrounding the fire and it was well under control.

    Important note: Firefighters are bad-ass mofo heroes that deserve way more respect and appreciation than any of us give them.

    That was probably the scariest 30 minutes of my life. We turned on the sprinklers to wet the back lawn. Sean and I grabbed the hose and dragged it into the back yard in case more water was needed. I woke up my wife and daughter and told them to get dressed and be ready to leave the house. We all grabbed the valuables and put them in our cars. In between all that, I took some photos that I’ll include below, with time stamps.

    11:47 pm


    11:51 pm


    12:04 am


    12:06 am


    I think it got as close as 200-300 yards, but it’s hard to tell at night. The photos aren’t great, but that’s what you get in the pitch black with an iPhone.

    All I know is we’re safe, there’s ash in our backyard, and the house smells like we just hosted an international cigarette smokers’ convention. And I know what I said above: Firefighters are amazing. Thank God for them.

    Tri-Cities, WA

    Fireworks Season … Anything Goes!

    July 5, 2012

    I really do love living in West Richland. Been here since 1998 and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else in the Tri-Cities area.

    But for a few days each year, I can’t stand West Richland. It’s during the few days before and after July 4th. If not for the fact that I fear our house being burned down, I’d get out of town for Independence Day. I’d really prefer to not have to deal with the insane noise, the kids being unable to sleep, the dog going crazy with fear, the smoke, the constant sound of fire trucks and all the other hassles.

    West Richland has historically had the most lenient fireworks rules in the area, from what I understand. In addition to locals doing their own thing, people come into West Richland from other areas so they can play with explosives for hours on end (usually after a BBQ and beer at home — ain’t America grand? Drink beer then go play with explosives!).

    The city changed some of the fireworks laws this year, mainly reducing the days and times that fireworks are allowed to be used. From what I understand, they didn’t change what types of fireworks are allowed … or, if they did, then we need much better enforcement. Because just a few houses away from us, the neighbors were putting on a professional-grade fireworks show.

    West Richland fireworks

    West Richland fireworks

    Residential fireworks

    Yes, this is legal

    Seriously, that’s insane. When amateurs can shoot off pro-level fireworks at home, who needs to go down to the Columbia River for the big “River of Fire” event? There’s no difference.

    We had to deal with this, maybe 100 yards from our front door, from about 8:30 pm to midnight.

    End of rant/complaint. Here’s hoping the West Richland City Council sees the light and eliminates fireworks altogether inside city limits.