By Staff

WORCESTER (CBS) — Worcester is working to reduce illegal fireworks this summer after an “alarming increase of complaints” last year. Between mid-June and mid-August of 2020, the city received 1,993 complaint calls about fireworks.

“We take these complaints very seriously,” City Manager Ed Augustus said in a statement Monday. “Fireworks are dangerous and affect the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

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Complaints started to drop last year after a task force was established and law enforcement got the word out about the dangers of illegal fireworks.

“It was terrible. Going right up past midnight throughout the whole city, so just the nuisance part of it,” said Worcester Fire Deputy Chief Martin Dyer

The Worcester fire and police departments will be collaborating on the fireworks issue again this year with a door-to-door education campaign.

“People just need to understand that they are very, very dangerous and when you have a professional firework show, it’s going through permitting, there are firefighters on scene,” Dyer said.

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Illegal fireworks can be reported to the Worcester police complaint line at (508) 799-8606.

Worcester officials plan to be proactive when possible. If they get a few tips coming from the same neighborhood, they will pay a visit to do some firework safety education.

Worcester has canceled its Fourth of July fireworks show; organizers said back in May it was “still too soon to be among big crowds.”

Officials hope other city fireworks will be enough to keep the explosives out of people’s homes and yards.

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“Between the WooSox and the Bravehearts, every Friday night home game, they are both doing fireworks,” Dyer said. “It can be seen throughout the city.” Staff