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Great Falls Fire Rescue responds to Independence Day incidents

Great Falls Fire Rescue responded to 33 calls for service on July 4th, ranging from fires to medical service emergencies.
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Posted at 6:54 PM, Jul 05, 2024

While the community was celebrating Independence Day on Thursday and into Friday, Great Falls Fire Rescue responded to 33 calls for service ranging from fires to medical service emergencies.

Roughly half of the incidents fire rescue responded to were fireworks-related, including six dumpster fires, two vehicle fires, and two grass fires.

GFFR also responded to one fire caused by the City firework display that is still being investigated. This year, none of the medical emergency incidents fire rescue responded to were directly firework related.

Here is a full list of incidents provided by Great Falls Fire Rescue:

  • 17 EMS calls, with 1 GFFR transport
  • 6 Dumpster fires
  • 2 Car fires
  • 2 Grass fires
  • 2 Lift assist
  • 1 Arson fire
  • 1 fire caused by the City fireworks display
  • 1 Disturbance
  • 1 Welfare check

One of the fire calls that firefighters responded to resulted in a felony charge of arson - click here for details.

Deputy Fire Marshal Tim Harris says, “Crews did a great job. The majority of calls were after 10 p.m., between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. this morning. So they were really busy in a short amount of time, they were stretched pretty thin. The dangerous part of that is, when they're responding to these calls that were easily preventable, if someone's house were to catch on fire for another reason there’d be a delay to that fire. We’re one of the last largest cities in Montana that still allow fireworks within city limits. And in order to keep that privileged, we need to be really careful. We need to watch out for one another and not endanger our neighbors.”

GFFR urges people not to touch fireworks immediately after use and to let them sit for around 15 minutes to make sure they weren’t a dud that will eventually go off. Before throwing fireworks away, soak them in some water, and throw them in a garbage bin outside of your home and away from residences and fire hazards. Other preventative measures to be taken before firework use include cleaning out gutters, and removing fire hazards near residences and inside truck beds that could potentially catch fire if a firework were to land on them.