Residents sound off about illegal fireworks, constant trash problems

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ST. LOUIS - Illegal fireworks and constant overflowing trash problems were the two hot-button topics that got some St. Louis City residents to sound off Monday night.

Several aldermen, along with St. Louis City Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson, hosted a town hall meeting at Sheetmetal Workers to discuss those safety and quality of life issues.

The meeting was originally called after a string of fires were blamed on Fourth of July fireworks.

Investigators said there were 83 fires that night, compared to 14 on a normal day.

The largest one damaged the Macklind Deli.

According to the fire department, fireworks are illegal and can carry a fine of up to $500.

Residents who spoke at the town hall meeting suggested that police need to enforce the fine or maybe the city should increase it to deter people from using fireworks illegally.

“As of last night, I saw fireworks in my own neighborhood and I think it’s more of what’s being sold now and it’s just out of hand,” said Alderwoman Sarah Martin (Ward 11). “They are selling professional-grade fireworks to anyone and people are using them I had a ton of complaints so I thought let’s do something about this and let’s start enforcing our ordinances.”

In attendance was Patch neighborhood resident Angel Tutt. Tutt said that rumble from fireworks that were being shot off well after the Fourth of July holiday caused damage to some parts of the inside of her home.

“In my house from the shaking, I lost the big mortars we lost our curtains right out of the wall,” she said. “and now big holes that we have to replace, the mortar and the brick, the drywall, rehang the curtains.”

Several residents also talked about illegal dumping or their trash not getting picked up which is a growing concern, especially because as the city has told FOX 2 in the past, it has been dealing with a shortage in its trash truck fleet.

“Trash, they barely pick it up,” said Willie Swinney, who owns a repair shop in north St. Louis. “The trash trucks don’t come through the alleys and that’s overgrowing in our alleys. It impacts us a lot because I have to go out and clean up the trash that’s up and down the streets. I guess I’m doing a little bit more than I have to, to maintain my area.”

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