ALTON - Alton Fire Chief Bernie Sebold said the 2017 Independence Day weekend was peaceful in Alton, as far as fires are concerned.

Sebold said his department did not need to respond to any major fires, nor did it respond to an minor ones started by fireworks, which are illegal in Illinois. He said this has been the case in Alton, especially over the last few years. Sebold said he attributes it to people in Alton obeying Illinois's fireworks ban.

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"I just think people are being smarter about not displaying fireworks in the city, essentially, they are obeying the laws in place," Sebold said.

While major structure fires attributed to fireworks are exceedingly rare, Sebold said previous, more active Fourths of July in Alton have seen minor incidents such as dumpster fires and grass fires. This year, neither of those occurred in the city, which is exceptional, because Sebold said this year's conditions were favorable for grass fires.

"We were very thankful it was a safe Fourth of July for the people of the City of Alton," he said.

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