News 12 at 11, June 20, 2008
NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. --- Business is about to boom at Fireworks Giant in North Augusta. But for store manager Matthew Augeri, he's been concerned about another type of boom. He's literally working in a powder-keg.
"It actually had started right here in this area, which it could've been anyone walking along the highway, it could've been a burning cigarette," Matthew Augeri said.
He's talking about a brush fire this week that started just down the hill from his fireworks store. Just think about that for a minute.
"Everything is so dry right now. It just caught really quick," Augeri said.
You can see where the flames burned through the brush. Matthew says it could've been a fireworks disaster.
"It just shows you how easily stuff, especially during the drought right now can catch on fire from misuse of any type of flammable objects," Augeri said.
So, while Matthew is worried a brush fire could light his fireworks, firefighters worry about the opposite.
"With the drought conditions right now, it's going to be extremely dangerous to discharge fireworks," Augusta Fire Department, Richard Smith said.
And at Fireworks Giant they're staying busy stocking the shelves. But they also want to make sure you're smart with the explosives you take home.
"Everybody needs to be careful right now. Everybody needs to be careful," Augeri said.
Especially Matthew, who could be in the line of fire himself.
Matthew tells his customers to read the directions, have a water source near by and make sure you stay clear of trees, overgrown brush, dry grass, and pine straw. Matthew says level pavement is the safest place to set fireworks off.