Ottumwa Fire Department shares view on fireworks proposal

With Iowa lawmakers considering legalizing the use of fireworks in the state, we caught up with Ottumwa Fire Chief Tony Miller to hear his thoughts on the proposal.

Miller said the bill came out of left field and gained steam recently.

He said another bill proposed by Senator Mark Chelgren would provide revenue from sales of fireworks to state fire departments. That bill has all but died at this point.

Miller said he isn't in favor of legalizing fireworks in Iowa.

"With fireworks it seems like there's a lot of injuries, and we've had deaths," said Miller. "We've had incidents in Iowa where people have got injured, and it causes a lot of damage. So I'll have to go on the record and say we are not supportive of fireworks in Iowa."

Miller said combining legal fireworks with the drought in Iowa will lead to more grass fires across the state.

He also said counties will be able to opt out if the bill is passed. They can do this by passing an ordinance preventing it.