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Illegal fireworks keep Sunnyside police busy

The sounds of fireworks exploding well into the night kept Sunnyside police busy answering disturbance calls last night as Sunnyside residents chose to celebrate the Fourth of July by setting off illegal fireworks. There were even illegal fireworks displays being set off as the Sunnyside Lions Club hosted its annual community fireworks display Monday night from Sunnyside High School Clem Senn Field.

The Lions, who collected donations during the past year for the gala, reported a number of fireworks being shot off near the high school tennis courts, which were not related to the community display.

Despite the city-wide ban on fireworks, the Sunnyside Police Department reported this morning that it had received 37 fireworks calls during the past week, with the bulk of the calls being reported between late Sunday afternoon and early Tuesday morning

Sunnyside Fire Department trucks patrolled the city most of Monday evening as a precautionary measure, but no fires were reported as a result of the illegal activities.

Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder said because his officers were kept busy most of Monday investigating the Sunday night stabbing death of a 73-year-old woman, his department struggled to answer the flurry of fireworks-related calls.

With three violent deaths occurring so close together in the community (two men were killed in a five-person shooting last week), Radder said his officers have had to prioritize their calls.

"It did sound like a war zone in the community during most of the weekend," he said.

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