The 4th of July is over and as of 12:01 Thursday morning, lighting off fireworks are illegal. But one metro family found something in their backyard on the 4th of July that they say could have ended in a fire.
“It was a fun night, except for the mishap,” said Dean Lockett.
Wednesday night the Lockett's were sitting in their backyard watching fireworks when they noticed something in the tree next door.
“We saw it rise up and go into the maple tree. Got caught, the wind blew it out and then it just floated down here,” said Lockett.
It was a Chinese lantern that landed in the yard.
“It was on fire so I grabbed it, first reaction was to pick it up off the mulch. Then I thought, ‘is it flammable?’ So I ran over and got the hose and squirted it out,” said Lockett.
Dean was able to put it out quickly and their backyard suffered no damage. But it landed on wood chips, just a few feet away from a wood pile, in a dry backyard, surrounded by a wooden fence.
“The base gets lit on fire, fills up the balloon with air and when it's coming down, when it lands on the wood, the wood's going to catch on fire. Whatever the case may be, it's very dangerous,” said Lockett.
The lanterns are legal and were sold at fireworks stands throughout the metro.
“I don't think people would want to light a campfire on their roof,” said Lockett.
That's how Lockett describes it and hopes his story reminds everyone to be a good neighbor and watch where your fireworks land.
“This was better than sparkler, this is a small fire,” said Lockett.
Captain Tim McCaw with the Omaha Fire Department says they responded to 25 firework related calls. None of them were actual fires. He says most were smoke calls and injuries, though none were serious.