LONDONDERRY, NH (CBS) – There’s a different kind of surge happening during the pandemic: a surge in New Hampshire fireworks sales.
“We’ve been slamming pretty much for the past three weeks,” said Megan Kearns, District Manager for Phantom Fireworks in Londonderry.
“I think it’s because of coronavirus,” said a customer from Massachusetts who wanted to be anonymous. She spent $600.00 on fireworks. “Everyone’s just sitting at home, so everyone’s just probably trying to have a good Fourth of July,” she said.
Kearns said the cancellation of many professional displays has boosted interest in backyard fireworks. “People were cooped up for a few months, so they want to spend their money and come out and do something fun,” Kearns said.
Massachusetts Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said it has led to the spread of another problem, fires. Earlier this week, a home in Worcester went up in flames, caused by illegal fireworks. Ostroskey said there have been others. “Some of the communities that we’re aware of are Boston, Springfield, Worcester, and Brockton, and sadly these fires have resulted in displacement of many people,” Ostroskey said.
In Boston, police have been inundated with complaints. From June 1 to the 16th, there were 4,996 calls about fireworks. That’s a staggering 7,586 percent jump from last year.
“Any purchase, or possession, transportation into Massachusetts is all illegal,” said Ostroskey.
Kearns said the store does its best to spread awareness about safety, handing out instructional pamphlets to customers with information on proper use. “We do get a ton of out-of-state customers, but for us personally, it’s not illegal for us to sell to anybody unless they are under the age 21,” she said.