Officials remind amateur pyrotechnicians the dangers of fireworks

New Year's Eve is a night to party in a big way-- and for a lot of people, part of the festivities includes fireworks. But that doesn't sit well with residents of a Silverlake neighborhood - who are worried about a repeat of a fiery celebration.

Two years ago, Mike Spector walked into his Echo Park front yard to find his sofa up in flames.

"I come home from work and there's no one around - there's just a burning couch on my lawn. It was very strange," said Spector.

The trees on his lawn had caught fire too. Many neighbors say the cause was people shooting off illegal fireworks.

Spector knows if firefighters hadn't come as fast as they did, his home could have been next.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, in 2013, fireworks caused over 15 thousand reported fires in the country, and 1,400 torched buildings.

Officials frequently remind amateur pyrotechnicians how dangerous fireworks can be.
LAPD also reminded people that celebratory gunfire and using fireworks is illegal in Los Angeles.

Anyone who uses, possesses or transports them can be arrested.
As for Spector, the trees in his lawn, are still charred, and the outside of home wasn't sparred either.

"They're covered in burn marks even the back of the house it was not a small event," said Spector.

Neighbors hope this year, more people will opt to watch the professionals.