‘It's Time to Stop': Mayor Walsh Issues Stern Warning on Fireworks

He urged residents to anonymously report anyone who is using illegal fireworks in the city

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Mayor Marty Walsh issued a stern warning to residents still shooting off fireworks in Boston after an 11-year-old boy was seriously injured in an accident earlier this week.

"My message to people on fireworks is it's time to stop," he said Friday.

He said the city has seen a massive increase in fireworks complaints over the past month.

"July 4th is behind us but we're continuing to hear them go of in many of our neighborhoods. It's a life and safety concern. It's causing trauma, stress and sleeplessness."

It's also a fire hazard, he said, and fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts.

With the coronavirus pandemic keeping people at home this summer, illegal sales of fireworks are expected to soar even higher than normal. But if you chose to set them off, it could cause you financial harm.

On Tuesday night, an 11-year-old boy was injured in an incident involving fireworks in the area of 110 Mercer St. The boy's injuries were not considered life-threatening, but Walsh said they were serious.

"Now we have an 11-year-old boy with serious injuries to his hands and body. The situation was entirely preventable," he said.

Walsh said he spoke with the boy's mother Thursday and she was in tears, asking the mayor to let people know just how dangerous fireworks can be.

"This young many is potentially going to have permanent physical damage and psychological trauma," he said. "I heard the pain in this woman's voice yesterday, and I hope people can understand the frustration and fear I have in what fireworks can do to young people in our city."

Fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts, but hundreds more complaints have been made to Boston police this year than last year.

Walsh created a task force last month after fireworks complaints skyrocketed by over 5,000%. He said that group has come up with some ideas to help, but it's incumbent on everyone in the city to help police the problem.

He said residents can call in anonymous tips about fireworks to the CrimeStoppers Tip Line at 1-800-494-TIPS or text the word "TIPS" to 27463.

The mayor said no one will be arrested for shooting off fireworks, but police will arrest anyone who is trafficking fireworks.

"We've had enough of this," Walsh said. "It's time to stop. We don't need another crisis to deal with."

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