Fire officials encourage safety ahead of at home July 4 celebrations


SHELBURN, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV)– Rachel Miller celebrates Independence Day with her family and friends every year.

Miller said this year will be no different than in years past.

“Every year we have a big family get together at our house. And we have a huge fireworks show display and a lot of people from the neighborhood come there to watch it because it’s a free show. So it’s our family and pretty much any local family that’s around comes by,” she said.

Miller and her family have been customers at Sky Thunder in Shelburn for several years.

She said as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, she’ll be able to spend quality time with her family and friends.

“With the virus going on, it’s really nice to be able to get together and do things like we used to and have family time and friend time and a good celebration and a good show,” Miller said.

The Shelburn store has been in business for 20 years and they’ve seen an increase in revenue due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jerry Terhune, manager at Sky Thunder, said they’ve seen an array of customers from the Midwest area.

“It’s a real mix because we’re right here on the Illinois line we have a lot of customers from Illinois. A lot of Indiana customers…Kentucky customers…The store has been here for so long that people travel from all over,” Terhune said.

Sullivan Co. Fire Department responds to 2-3 firework related incidents per year.

Rob Robertson, fire chief at the department, said most of these incidents are preventable.

“A lot the incidents we see is a lot of misused fireworks you know the way that they light them off. You need to read the directions and light them off the way that they’re supposed to light them off,” he said.

According to Robertson, periods of dry weather could lead to local firework restrictions. However, there are none in Sullivan Co. at this time.

He said those celebrating at home need to be smart and remain alert.

“Try to have water and things with you just in case you do catch something on fire closely mainly just be smart and do the right things with them,” Robertson said.

According to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, fireworks are allowed to be used from 10 a.m. until midnight on July 4.

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