Once again the City of Great Bend was lit up with fireworks and celebration over the holiday weekend and city officials agree it was a good celebration for the city and the people who live here or visited family from out of town.
“Like last year it was a great holiday,” Great Bend Fire Chief Mike Napolitano said. “With people being safer and all the rain and moisture we had in recent weeks, we only had two firework-related fires in town which made for a great holiday for the city.”
One of the fires was reported at 1:16 a.m. on July 5. Units responded to a trash can on fire at 3316 21st and arrived to find the homeowner using a garden hose to spray water on a pile of used fireworks containers that were shot off earlier in the evening.
The pile was at the edge of the homeowners driveway on the sidewalk beside a trash container. Units assisted the owner in making sure the fire was completely out before leaving.
The other fire was reported at 3:36 a.m. on July 5. Units responded to 5251 9th for a dumpster on fire. Upon arrival, they found a dumpster was fully involved.
The fire was confined to the dumpster and the cause of the fire was discarded fireworks.
According to Napolitano, last year was the same as this year. The area had a lot of rain on July 2 which helped keep the fires down during the holiday weekend.
According to local officials, one person was severely injured due to a firework accident that occurred sometime over the weekend outside of Great Bend.
Thomas Robison of Great Bend was taken to Great Bend Regional Hospital for his injuries and later he was taken to Via Christi Hospital in Wichita.
According to hospital officials he is in fair condition.
Wesley Medical Center and Via Christi reported they have had numerous fireworks related injuries.
Via Christi officials said they had 10 injuries overnight, some of them very serious.
The supervisor said most of the injuries came from mortar-type fireworks.
In addition to the 10 patients overnight. They also seen eight others for a total of 18 firework injuries over the whole weekend.
A Wesley Medical Center spokesman said it didn’t have an exact count, but it is seeing adults and children coming in with minor and serious injuries. Some even may require loss of a limb or plastic surgery.
Wesley says some of those patients were holding the fireworks in their hands and not letting them go.