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Holiday weekend passes peacefully on South Whidbey

Forget those thunderous booms that rattled your windows and sent your cat Snooki scampering under the bed.

Turns out, the Fourth of July holiday weekend was actually pretty quiet.

That’s the view, at least, from those who answer the call when 911 is dialed.

No fireworks-related injuries were reported, and only one fire from fireworks was reported, officials at Fire District 3 said Tuesday.

Fire District 3 Chief Rusty Palmer credited luck, people’s vigilance and a wet spring for averting fireworks-caused blazes this past weekend.

“Actually, things were pretty quiet for us,” Palmer said.

One fire caused by a bottle rocket was reported at 6:30 p.m. July 4 off Vista Lane. A small grass fire was quickly put out by firefighters, and no homes were threatened.

A vehicle fire on July 3 was the most dramatic incident on the South End. The vehicle’s owner drained fuel from his boat and stored it in the back of his SUV, and the fumes were ignited by an electrical relay and burned out the car.

The fire district responded to 21 medical calls from July 2 to July 4, which is about average.

“That’s pretty typical,” Palmer said. “We average between five and eight medical calls per day.”

There were no fireworks-related injuries reported.

Increased holiday traffic caused a few crashes during the weekend, but none were described as serious. A crash on Highway 525 at Ken’s Korner sent injured parties to Whidbey General Hospital on July 1. Another crash on Highway 525 and Scott Road sent people to the hospital in Coupeville on July 2, and no one was hurt in a third accident the following day.

Firefighters also responded to a leftover campfire on the beach next to Wharf Street in Langley on Tuesday. Palmer said it was probably a fire someone didn’t properly put out the night before, and it was quickly doused.

Detective Ed Wallace of the Island County Sheriff’s Office said no major incidents were reported involving wayward fireworks or automobiles.

“There was nothing major. Nobody missing any body parts, no major accidents,” Wallace said.

Many people were out and about because of the nice weather, but the mood was mostly mellow.

Wallace said one minor accident was reported following the fireworks show in Freeland, but that was about it.

Langley Police Chief Randy Heston also said the weekend was largely uneventful.

Heston said increased patrols, and fliers posted around town that spelled out the city’s restrictions on fireworks, were key.

“There were no incidents to report whatsoever,” Heston said.

Record writer Brian Kelly contributed to this report.

Community Events, April 2014

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