RIVERSIDE (CBS:A.com) — The city of Riverside is taking fireworks seriously.
They’re fining residents $1,000 if they are in possession.
CBS 2’s Crystal Cruz said authorities are hoping the fines will deter people.
In a video that police are reviewing, and also obtained by CBS 2, two people are seen walking down the street, into an empty lot next to homes in Riverside. Moments later, in the corner of the screen, you see sparks and a fire starts.
“I said wait a minute something is wrong. I came around from the balcony and saw the fire was real close to here and I was so scared,” said neighbor Clara Chilson.
As the fire spread to Chilson’s backyard, security video shows the teens run away towards Rodrigo Lara’s house.
“They just showed up,” said Lara.
“With fireworks?” Cruz asks.
“With fireworks,” says Lara.
But it was Rodrigo’s wife who was given a $ 1.000 citation for having fireworks, something Rodrigo says she didn’t have, but the neighbor kids might’ve left in their trash can.
“No. We don’t do that,” he said.
According to the fire department, fireworks are not allowed in Riverside and homeowners are responsible if fireworks show up at their home.
“It’s no game. It’s uncontrollable. Once it hits it’s done. Thank God, I had fire break because I did weeding,” Chilson said.
Firefighters are still investigating who started the fire. That person could face more than $5,000 in emergency response fees, time taken away from other service calls.
Starting this evening, through the 4th of July, firefighters will be out in force to cite anyone cause with fireworks.