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'We were very close to losing our home,' Coquitlam man says after Halloween fireworks

The skies over the Tri-Cities burst with colour and dazzle after little trick-and-treaters packed up last night, Oct. 31.

The skies over the Tri-Cities burst with colour and dazzle after little trick-and-treaters packed up last night, Oct. 31.

Police at the Coquitlam RCMP detachment, which serves Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and the two villages of Anmore and Belcarra, as well as the Port Moody Police Department (PMPD) reported “steady” nights responding to calls about fireworks being set off illegally in parks and on school properties.

Officers also knocked on the doors about loud house parties, and attended to nuisances, mischief and impaired drivers.

In total, Coquitlam Mounties logged 81 complaints between 5 p.m. on Oct. 31 and 4:30 a.m. on Nov. 1, said Cpl. Alexa Hodgins.

In Port Moody, PMPD spokesperson Const. Sam Zacharias said officers helped with crowd and traffic control at the annual fireworks display put on at Glenayre Community School by the Glenayre Community Association.

Parachute Burn

But the fireworks set off in and around the 800-block of Poirier Street in Coquitlam were not appreciated by a 25-year resident, who woke up this morning, Nov. 1, to find a pyrotechnic had parachuted onto his roof.

The device burned though Wayne Atkinson’s aluminum gutter, cedar siding and asphalt shingles while he and his wife were in the basement trying to calm their two maltipoo puppies last night. 

Atkinson, who lives close to Parkland Elementary School, said he alerted police to the incident today; however, they said nothing could be done and advised the couple to contact their insurance agent.

“We were very close to losing our home,” Atkinson told the Tri-City News.

Atkinson pointed out that many B.C. municipalities have banned the use of fireworks — excluding certified fireworks technicians or special events — including:

  • Vancouver
  • City of North Vancouver
  • West Vancouver
  • Richmond
  • Delta
  • Surrey
  • Langley
  • Pitt Meadows
  • Coquitlam

Port Moody Fireworks

This is likely the last Halloween fireworks will be readily available in Port Moody as an amendment to the city’s bylaws that will ban their sale is expected to come before council shortly.

In July, council’s governance and legislation committee unanimously approved a recommendation from Port Moody Fire Rescue to implement such a ban, as well as requirement for any displays to secure a permit.

PMFR deputy chief Kirk Heaven said fireworks are a nuisance that can have impacts on the environment and animals, can pose a risk to public safety and often result in litter on roads and properties as well as possible damage.

“Fireworks are unregulated and uncontrolled,” he said.

Currently, Port Moody and the District of North Vancouver are the only remaining communities in Metro Vancouver that allow the sale of fireworks.

— with files from Mario Bartel, Tri-City News