Despite the controversy regarding Pulaski and Starke counties’ recent decisions to rescind their burn bans, no fires were reported on Fourth of July in either county.
The Starke County Sheriff’s Department reports that while they had no fire calls on the holiday, they did receive a number of noise complaints because of the fireworks. Overall, it was a safe Fourth of July for the county. No fires and no serious injuries were reported, and the Starke County fireworks celebration went off without a hitch.
The fire department was on hand for the celebration, and before any fireworks were lit, the launch area was sprayed down. Areas where fireworks were expected to land were also sprayed down to prevent any possible fires from starting.
For Pulaski County, the Kiwanis Club’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration also took place as planned with no complications, injuries, or fires reported.
According to the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, only four counties in the state have been reported as having lifted their burn bans. Starke and Pulaski counties are amongst them, along with Benton and Warren counties. Some people felt the ban had been lifted too soon, including North Judson-Wayne Township Fire Chief Joe Leszek, who discouraged the Starke County Commissioners from rescinding the ban so early, but their concerns appear unfounded.
Goshen, on the other hand, was not so lucky. Goshen police say a fire spread across four yards Wednesday before firefighters were able to put it out. No building damage or injuries were reported, but police arrested two men for breaking the county ban on shooting off fireworks, causing the grass fire. Officers arrested the 25-year-old and 29-year-old men on misdemeanor charges of violating an emergency order.