A “large quantity” of fireworks was seized by Boston police from a U-Haul van in Dorchester Friday evening, the department said, as illegal fireworks have continued to explode nightly over the city in recent weeks.
Boston police were called to Dacia Street around 9:30 p.m. for a report of fireworks going off, and when they arrived, they saw several go up around Dacia and Dove streets. The fireworks were being lit from the middle of Dacia Street, police said in a statement Saturday.
They also saw a U-Haul van with fireworks inside, and spoke to a man who said he had rented the vehicle, according to police. Officers told the man that fireworks are illegal and confiscated the remaining stash.
Earlier this week, Boston police confiscated a similar load in Roxbury. Those fireworks were sitting in the back of an open trunk near Mascoma Street and Lawrence Avenue.
Boston and surrounding neighborhoods have been filled with nightly booms, cracks and hisses in recent weeks – a rising phenomenon that has irked residents and led to a 2,300% increase in firework complaints this year. Last May, according to Mayor Marty Walsh, there were 27 calls regarding fireworks complaints. Over 650 calls were made in May of this year, and fireworks have continued to go off.
"People are frightened, people are losing sleep, babies and kids are woken up, pets are terrified, our veterans and others with PTSD are experiencing real harm and it's a real fire hazard in our city," Walsh said.
It's illegal to use, possess or sell fireworks in Massachusetts or to bring them in from other states.
Other states have faced similarly massive upticks. New York City saw more than 1,700 complaints of fireworks in the first half of June, hundreds more than the prior year. Connecticut has faced similar surges, with Hartford police reporting 53 calls of fireworks going off this year compared to just three at the same point in 2019.