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Boys questioned about fireworks

May 21, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

Two 11-year-old Hagerstown boys were questioned at Western Heights Middle School on Friday morning in connection to fireworks that were set off near the school, according to the Hagerstown fire marshal's office.

Forty-eight pieces of illegal fireworks were confiscated Friday, said Assistant Fire Marshal John Hersh.

The fireworks included bottle rockets, butterflies and 8-inch-high fountains, all made by Phantom Fireworks in Pennsylvania, Hersh said.

Several fireworks were discharged on railroad property behind the school on Thursday night. No one was hurt and no fire was started in the wooded area, Hersh said.

There was the potential for danger not only because of the fireworks, but because the area they were discharged in was near the contaminated former Central Chemical Corp. The firm operated a pesticide/fertilizer plant on Mitchell Avenue.

It was a bottle rocket that started a house fire at 44244 W. Church St. last July 4, leading to $70,000 in damage, Hersh said.

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It is illegal to possess, discharge or distribute fireworks in Maryland.

While it is legal to sell fireworks in Pennsylvania, it is not legal to sell them if the seller knows the buyer is taking them into Maryland, he said. Fire marshals do not know where the fireworks were bought.

The penalty for possessing or discharging illegal fireworks can be $250 per piece, Hersh said.

No charges had been filed as of Friday, Hersh said.

The boys, students at Western Heights, were questioned and their parents contacted, he said.

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