MEDFORD, Ore. — Several people are suffering minor injuries after an illegal mortar style firework exploded in a group of people overnight. That mortar didn’t send anyone to the hospital, but it did start a fire at a nearby duplex.
The scarring visible on the duplex amounted to around $2,500 worth of damage. It was actually put out by neighbors armed with garden hoses before fire and police even arrived.
Police say 34-year old John Everett Shade lit off the mortar just before midnight last night. The explosive went off in a group of people, causing minor injuries to two children and visible burns to another adult.
Officials say nobody was hospitalized, but the incident was just one of 135 reports of illegal fireworks throughout the night. Fire Marshall Greg Kleinberg says as part of their zero-tolerance policy, he and other firefighters actually rode with police to hand out citations and confiscate illegal fireworks.
Fire officials say there were seven fires throughout Medford in total last night. They say the rocky road drive incident was the only injury they reported. Shade, the person responsible for lighting that firework, was cited and released for reckless endangerment and illegal possession of fireworks.