As people across the Wichita area celebrated the Fourth of July, the number of emergency calls rose on Friday along with the rockets’ red glare and the “bombs” bursting in air.
The Sedgwick County Emergency Management Department reported 200 fireworks-related calls as of 10 p.m., most of which occured in the hours after dusk.
Earlier in the evening was better for children, such as Danielle and Aubrey Thurman, who live near Maple and Ridge, even if the fireworks were a little harder to see.
They – sort of – helped their dad, Derek Thurman, light off sparklers in their driveway.
“We’re not looking for the big blockbusters, just whatever she’ll watch,” he said.
But the girls really went to town on the poppers, throwing them down and stomping them.
“That’s where the real value is,” he laughed.
Farther west, Karen Sanders-West sat on the edge of the patio of Rolling Hills Country Club, waiting for the club’s big fireworks show. The course was lovely. The evening was lovely.
“I start with dinner, then the ice cream social and then watermelon,” she said. “It’s such a beautiful evening, and I didn’t have to cook.”
And farther west still, Kevin Le and Trinh Tran made a mad dash for last-minute fireworks at 9 p.m. to the Wholesale Fireworks at Maple and Maize.
It seems his dad didn’t get quite enough fireworks and his sister was at risk of running out.
“It’ll be a surprise,” he said, as they dashed for the car.
It was a very busy night for the city’s emergency workers.
Firefighters and police were called to numerous fireworks mishaps, disputes and injuries, as well as small fires, including a nearly simultaneous apartment fire on South Rock Road and a house fire in the Park Village Mobile Home Park on South Greenwich Road. A dispatcher with Sedgwick County 911 reported them as under control within a few minutes.