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Cottonwood Heights man calls for end to personal aerial fireworks in Utah

SALT LAKE CITY —  David Shoeneck wore a shirt with a picture of his burning house printed on the front. He stood over a rented coffin on the Capitol Hill steps as he told reporters it is time for Utah lawmakers to ban aerial fireworks for anyone without a professional license.

“You should not allow everyone to shoot off aerial fireworks. I don’t care what days they are,” he said.

Shoeneck nearly lost his home last year in a brush fire started by fireworks. He said his wife and son were still awake and managed to escape the blaze, but worries there will be another fire in the future. ‘

“The firemen got there, as we were told, 20 seconds to spare,” Shoeneck said. “They evacuated two streets down. We could have had deaths.”

Three other people, dressed all in black, joined the Cottonwood Heights man in. The funeral garb was to grab lawmakers attention before a brush fire claimed a life.

His protest comes just after a new Utah law, HB38, went into effect on May 8th, cutting legal fireworks days in half and boosting the fine for use in restricted areas to $1,000. In Shoeneck’s opinon, it wasn’t enough.

“I give them credit but the truth is we are still in a desert climate. Aerial fireworks being shot off by any Tom, Dick and Harry is negligent,” he said.