Fire officials check out fireworks

By Chelle Delaney: Quay County Sun

Tucumcari Fire Chief Mike Cherry made the rounds Monday making sure that retailers were not selling any fireworks that had been banned.

“He came by and explained to us what we could sell. He said the firecrackers had to come off,” said Walter Hayes who is operating the Mr. W’s Fireworks on First Street. “People can throw the fireworks.”

Cherry said he also checked Alco and K-Mart, where he had to tell those retailers to remove some items that would travel too high in the air.

Hayes said ciity officials had checked his stand on Saturday and found a number of items in violation of the ban. “I normally have 125 items and I was reduced to 16,” said Hayes. “It took me to my knees.”

“We were really discouraged,” said Lana Anzell who is operating the stand with Haynes.

So, Hayes went to a distributor earlier Monday in Clovis and came back with “safe and sane” items to re-stock with that evening.

“We’ve now got the old reliables, sparklers, smokeballs, cones,” Hayes said.

This is Hayes’ second year in Tucumcari selling fireworks and he hadn’t planned on the ban, he said. Hayes and Anzell are from Elisa. “We’ve been trying to get married and we were planning on using what we made here for our honeymoon.”

Despite the restrictions on some items, the Gonzales family didn’t mind. And six-year-old Augustine Gonzales, with his mom, Monica, said he likes the sound of firecrackers, but his eyes lit up when he saw the smokeballs.