BELL COUNTY, TX — Fireworks lit up the sky across Bell County on Monday, but it wasn’t all fun and games.
Central Texas has experienced extreme temperatures this summer, meaning this Fourth of July was gearing up to be a busy night for firefighters.
”At one point we had all of our trucks, including the extra staff on duty, out making calls and extinguishing fires,” said Mitch Randles, Chief of Temple Fire and Rescue.
Call after call started coming in across Bell County as soon as the fireworks began.
”We didn’t really have a whole lot of injuries related to fireworks, which was great but, yesterday everything was still really dry,” said Rob Hadrick, Assistant Chief for Central Bell County Fire and Rescue. “So, it went exactly how we expected it to go.”
Even the ones the City of Temple used for their fireworks display lit a fire.
”Within seconds of fireworks display getting started, grass fires got started out there on the site that we had to take care of,” said Chief Randles. “So, very dry and dangerous conditions right now for grass fires.”
While several grass fires were started in rural areas, in the city is where things got bad.
”Throughout the city, they were much worse and grew much faster and obviously, a greater potential for damaging property and damaging homes.” said Chief Randles.
Departments across Bell County were ready just in case fireworks went from fun to scary.
”That room for error there and it’s our job to account for that and I think, across the county, everybody did a great job keeping the damage to a minimum.” said Assistant Chief Hadrick.
While the firefighters were hopeful they wouldn’t need to be called upon, they are glad they were prepared.