DENVER (KDVR) — As we head into the fourth of July weekend, we are hearing from two people who were severely hurt by illegal fireworks. Their message? Have fun and celebrate, but please be safe.
Brittnee Coyne and Tierney Danio were at professional fireworks display in 2019 in Denver when someone set off an illegal mortar firework next to them. They were both hit and severely hurt.
“I had two surgeries…and pain that wouldn’t stop for months,” Coyne said.
This Fourth of July, they are asking everyone to have fun but be safe.
“We are not trying to be fun police and tell you to not have fun and enjoy the holiday. Be proud to be an American. We love this country. We are asking you to think about how you celebrate. When you choose to something that is illegal. Who are you putting in danger? Just think about it,” Coyne said.
Fireworks are illegal in Colorado except for those “permissible” under state law. Those are defined as non-explosive and not intended to leave the ground.
“I think the important thing for us is please go to your barbecues. Please spend time with your family. Just have a safe holiday,” Danio said. “Just avoid those stands, and don’t light off those mortar-style fireworks in a park full of people. It will affect their life for the rest of their lives.”
Firefighters encourage people to attend professional fireworks displays. The hope is to prevent fires and prevent others from injuries that could last a lifetime.
We spoke to Coyne and Danio while they were out of town on a trip, far from fireworks displays they say trigger an emotional response in them.
If you are going to set off fireworks, officials ask you to make sure you understand local ordinances before doing so.