PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The scary sound of explosions dozens of times per day has some Philadelphia residents fed up and wondering what can be done. A Mount Airy resident is forming a task force to address the issue. It’s a coalition that its creator says now spans the entire city.
For weeks, fireworks have been filling the Philly night sky around the city.
“People are terrified because a lot of times they don’t know if they’re hearing gunfire or fireworks,” Jean Gajary, of Mount Airy, said. “I get called from someone who’s son was autistic and he’s terrified every night. People are calling me because their young children are scared and sleep-deprived.”
Gajary has started what she calls a fireworks task force to solve the issue after weeks of long nights with impromptu displays ending around 1 a.m. around her home in Mount Airy.
Philadelphia police say they’ve received 871 calls related to bombs or explosions across the city from May 29 to June 16, which has left residents to wonder.
“You’re resting and you’re going to sleep and then it’s ‘boom, boom, boom.’ You don’t know if it’s people trying to blow up ATMs, you don’t know what it is,” Rachel McDonald, of East Falls, said. “You don’t know what it is. It’s ridiculous and it needs to stop.”
In 2017, the city passed new legislation legalizing the purchase of explosives or “consumer fireworks” like Roman candles, bottle rockets and firecrackers.
Gajary says the lack of oversight is what her coalition aims to correct.
“We really just need sensible laws making it illegal to sell and use,” Gajary said. “This is just creating such havoc.”
Some have met her effort with a collective shrug online.
“Great for you, it’s not a big deal,” Gajary said of what she’s seen online. “It’s a big deal for a lot of people and for very serious reasons, not just a minor inconvenience.”
Eyewitness News asked city officials this afternoon what they plan on doing about the fireworks. They say they’re aware of more calls and are trying to find the best way to respond.