4th of July profitable for fireworks businesses, busy for APD

ABILENE, Texas - The 4th of July holiday has come to a close but not without plenty of calls to the Abilene Police Department.

One business said they had an increase in the sale of fireworks this year.

Joey Zapata, owner of Mr. W's Fireworks on Interstate 20 east of Abilene,  and his employees spent Friday counting what's left of the stock.

"It's a lot of work," said Zapata. "I'll be here from about 9 this morning until 9 tonight counting all my inventory."

The shelves have been all but cleared out. Anywhere from 18 to 20 percent of the proceeds from Mr. W's will go to charitable programs and Texas fire departments.

"It's been crazy, it's been chaotic, we've gone through everything," he said. "This building wasn't even shelved with product 2 weeks ago."

Zapata said he suggests that all customers use them responsibly, and according to the laws, but some people did not necessarily take the advice.

The Abilene Police Department said they received 311 calls for service related to fireworks from about 9 p.m. Thursday into early Friday morning.

"Three hundred is a big number so obviously people were calling because they were concerned with the fact that they noise was waking them up or maybe rattling their animals," said Officer George Spindler of APD.

Spindler said that number is on par with last year's complaints. For the 24-hour period of July 4, 2012, APD received 296 calls.

"Typically people, especially parents with little ones, are going to be more concerned with the explosive hazards depending on what they've purchased," said Spindler.

Now that the 4th is over, those concerns will likely dwindle. It will be close to another six months until the fireworks stores re-open for New Year's.

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