“It sounds like end times” — Eastside celebrates the 4th of July with fireworks and more fireworks

4th of July fireworks in Echo Park

Skyrockets on Laveta Terrace, Echo Park | Photo by Kelly Erickson

From Silver Lake to East L.A., the Eastside celebrated Independence Day with the usual blast of colorful and noisy fireworks — and possibly gunfire — that wowed as well as angered many residents.

The hours-long barrage of fireworks left a cloak of smoke in the air as social media was filled with reports of burning trees and complaints about not being able to report illegal fireworks through the city’s jammed emergency call-in center. “It sounded like a war zone,” was a common refrain.

An approximately 2-acre brush fire scorched a hillside in Lincoln Heights off of Emma Avenue, the L.A. Fire Department reported. It was not clear whether fireworks were responsible for the blaze but it became part of the 4th of July show.

The fireworks are mostly over but their impact will linger. Air quality officials warned that particulate matter — tiny particles of soot and smoke — from fireworks are expected to contribute to unhealthful conditions for those suffering with respiratory problems through this morning.

Here’s a rundown of photos and social media posts about last night’s 4th of July:

Photographer Matt Hartman shot this time-lapse video showing fireworks across Glassell Park and Atwater Village

Lincoln Heights brush fire on 4th of July

Photo by James Ferrera

James Ferrera took this photo of the Lincoln Heights brush fire from the corner of Sierra Street and Mercury Avenue. “I know it’s a cliche, but it sounded like a war zone,” he said.

A post shared by vOM1t (@oscarvomit) on

Everyone celebrates the Fourth of July differently. #silverlakeblog #4thofjuly #fourthofjuly #silverlake #fireworks

A post shared by Tom Stanley (@tgordonstanley) on

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  1. Nowhere in this story about fireworks did I see the word “illegal.” Leveta Terrace, among many other areas, seems to feel they are exempt. The LAPD knows about their yearly “display” and I would very much like to know whether they made any attempt to shut it down. Anyone? Thanks

    • The Main Spoon

      They didn’t stop the show and it was amazing as usually. Fell sorry for all of our wildlife and domestic however.

  2. I’m so glad that it’s over. Here in Highland Park people were lighting off fireworks days before and setting off car alarms all night every night for 4 days in a row. Super annoying. Next year I will not be around.

  3. Then there was the idiot shooting a .45 caliber gun (husband’s ex-military, he knows the sound) into the hill across from our house. The very DRY hill, whose brush hasn’t been cleared completely. After watching a neighbor’s house go up in flames a few years back from dried out pine needles, I know firsthand it doesn’t take much to ignite a raging fire when it’s hot and dry. And for anyone with asthma, good luck breathing the night of and day or two after.

    • Yes, we had eucalyptus trees go up like torches last New Years from fireworks. Last night, 4th, looking out window in Echo Park, looked like fog around midnight. There were actually bad air alerts this morning.

  4. Every year it is a blatant disregard for life and property on the part of both irresponsible residents AND the LAPD.

  5. Eagle Rock was a war zone. Extremely dangerous fireworks EVERYWHERE in my neighborhood; worried they would explode onto my house. Yet, multiple calls to the LAPD (last year and this year) resulted in nothing. I couldn’t even get through this year….waited on hold upwards of 30 min at a time. AND i heard plenty of sirens going by, and i doubt these polices officers are blind and def. Not quite sure why LAPD doesn’t care about its residents’ safety or sleep.

  6. Echo Park Neighbor

    The organizers of that Laveta Terrace assault really went overboard this year and as a long time resident on the next block, I plan to be in contact with authorities to make sure this doesn’t happen next year. the deafening noise made me feel as if I was living in Aleppo and there was no much gunpowder and debris in the air I am still coughing a day and a half later.

    To the people who visited this assault on our neighborhood, I am going to petition the neighborhood door to door next year to make sure that you do not abuse us in this same manner again without incuring a police shut down. Screw you!

    • Waaaah! You obviously hate America and work for the Russians

    • Echo Park Resident

      Why not just go get a room for the night like so many other neighbors do?? It’s been a tradition for over 40 years and NO ONE has ever been hurt, or had property damaged. You moved into a neighborhood filled with long standing families and traditions. Move if you don’t like it. Or simply go away for one night!!!!!

      • “Tradition” or not, it’s still illegal. The tide is changing so if you want to shoot off your illegal fireworks, you will have to do somewhere where they are LEGAL. Here’s a link on the topic – educate yourself for a change: http://www.shouselaw.com/fireworks.html

        • The Main Spoon

          It’s tradition!

          • Neighborhood demographics change and so do their traditions. With gentrification comes a lot of people that feel compelled to abide by the law. Since fireworks are illegal, I suspect that this tradition is on its way out.

    • Settle down hipster……no one asked you to move into our area. This has been a 20+ year tradition, I can’t wait to see you knock on everyone’s door next year petitioning your liberal ways. Enjoy your Independence!!!!

    • Have you been to Aleppo? This has been a tradition for 20+years and since you live on the next block you should know what happens on the 4th. I’m pretty sure the police knows and so does the fire department and they have in the past came by and even watched!!! So for being patriotic! In Aleppo you would hear missiles and bombs!!! Everybody on that block is family born and raised so good luck to you next year, we are responsible we clean up the street when we are done we even rent dumpsters and we have water hoses ready just in case so yeah we will do it again next year!! Oh yeah by the way Go TRUMP!!!! You should tell those hipsters that invaded our neighborhood to throw their trash away, solo cups beer bottles and beer cans yeah we cleaned up after them also!!!!

      • You don’t know me . I came out to see all the commotion and they even had this stupid looking guy in the middle of the street with a flashlight.. looked like a cheap rent-a-cop. He was flashing people in the eyes trying to direct traffic.. do me a favor and stay home next year reject.

    • WOW, relax with the Aleppo and war zone comparisons, its insulting to people actually living through that. It’s one night of fun and if you’ve been living near Laveta or in Echo Park, you know whats up. and if you’re concerned with air quality, save the trees you’d be printing that petition on, trees great for the environment

  7. I grew up in Monterey Park where fireworks are still legal and yet the people are respectful about the noise and safety of others. Maybe if you legalized it people would relax and not behave like wild monkeys who just discovered fire

  8. Glad To most People Agree With Fireworks. It’s Been A Long Tradition In Notheast L A. We Celebrate Every Year . No One Told Those Newbies That Notheast Was Quiet Doring The 4Th.

  9. Assholes. Plain and simple. Acting like selfish children. Set the fireworks off inside your own houses next time. Please.

    • Satan Loves You

      This. Maybe when they blow their fingers off, and blind themselves, that narrow minded perspective will change.

      • to everyone hating on the fireworks: get the stick out of your asses. it’s done after ONE night. can’t believe the amount of negativity. “tides are changing”- they haven’t changed in 20+ years, there’ll be fireworks next year too. & you’re hyprocrites, calling them selfish but you don’t like the fireworks and here you are, name calling & throwing a fit like “selfish little children”

        • Satan Loves You

          Please go on, tell me more. Your fairytale stories are fascinating. Maybe in 20+ years you won’t be here anymore.

          • Actually, it’s a 40+ year tradition, which means you will most likely not be here in another 40+ years to savor the reverent(?) silence that you apparently crave on our day of celebration.

  10. iatemyroomatestorta

    Glad to see we made the news again this year. To everyone that came out and participated in this great event, I would like to say thank you!. We are already planning a bigger and better show next year. Great to see people from all over the city gathering in our community, really shows what amazing things can happen when people come together for a fun cause. Community events like this are great in bringing people together. So many old and new faces having a good time, now thats what its all about. Que viva Echo Parque!

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