County fire departments prep for Fourth of July celebrations - KSWO, Lawton, OK- Wichita Falls, TX: News, Weather, Sports. ABC, 24/7, Telemundo -

County fire departments prep for Fourth of July celebrations

COMANCHE COUNTY, Okla._Comanche County volunteer firefighters are prepping for Friday’s Fourth of July celebration in hopes of protecting lives and property.

Paradise Valley volunteer firefighters know just how quickly the holiday celebration can turn dangerous and even deadly if fireworks aren't handled responsibly. Thursday in Comanche, Texas, a fireworks explosion killed one man and seriously injured three others. The four were reportedly preparing for the city's annual Fourth of July fireworks show when the explosion happened, setting fire to the victims, cars, and a trailer used to house more fireworks.

Firefighters at Cox's Store Volunteer Fire Department already know people love to celebrate Independence Day with fireworks. But some of them may get out of hand and that's why they've already started planning for the night ahead and they don't mind the work.

No matter how hard it gets sometimes, Fire Chief Jody Dreves says they enjoy being able to serve by ensuring safety on the fun-filled night.

"We're here to serve our community and to protect lives and the property of our community," said Chief Dreves.

Dreves even recalled a time a few years ago when her station had to fight fires back-to-back during the holiday, but she says this year Mother Nature is on their side, something they are counting on.

"In comparison to last year, this is a gift to us, the rains that we've had in June and now in July. Last year we were weeks and months without rain so this is great," said Chief Dreves.

Despite the moisture, firefighters always anticipate a few fires. She says there is a law against shooting fireworks in the city, but knows some people still won't obey the law.

"That doesn't deter people. We would hope that people would pay attention and do what the law says," she said.

While the station of about 20 volunteers will be working this holiday, just before they do, they'll have a little celebration of their own.

"We'll have a little cookout early in the afternoon. And then we'll be ready so that if anything does come up, that we can help our community and do what we need to do," said Chief Dreves.

Dreves also encourages people to shoot their fireworks in the designated areas of Lake Lawtonka and Lake Ellsworth.

The Cox's Store department fire fighters will man their fire station as early as 7:00 p.m. and remain there until the majority of celebrations wrap up.


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