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Fireworks during a fire? A Glendale resident isn't happy

Construction workers on a condominium rooftop at Americana at Brand, a four hundred million dollar shopping and housing complex being completed in the middle of downtown Glendale. Photographed Friday April 11 2008

The air around parts of Los Angeles was filled with smoke from brush fires Saturday.

The air in Glendale was filled with fireworks smoke.

The Americana at Brand shopping center kicked off its holiday season with a pyrotechnic display that sent neighbors running outside in alarm.

"It was really an inappropriate display. This was not the time to shoot off fireworks," Glendale resident John Barnes said. "The hotels around here were filled Saturday with fire evacuees."

Americana at Brand spokeswoman Jennifer Gordon said the pyrotechnics were part of a Christmas tree lighting ceremony that couldn't be rescheduled. "We weren't trying to be insensitive. My mother is one of those who had to evacuate because of the fires today."

Barnes was watching TV coverage of the fires when the fireworks went off. He grabbed his video camera and shot the display and the smoke the fireworks produced as evidence.

To him, the holiday event ended with a thud, not a boom.

--Bob Pool

Construction workers on a condominium rooftop at Americana at Brand, a four hundred million dollar shopping and housing complex being completed in the middle of downtown Glendale. Photographed Friday April 11 2008 by Brian Vander Brug / Los Angeles Times

 
Comments () | Archives (54)

Thanks you Americana, your crappy mall can now contribute even more to our poor air quality. Like school on saturday, this has no class.

If this is the sensitivity / intelligence level of the people running this place I'd hate to think what else they're capable of. Has anyone every heard of "Adaptive Management?"

Does anyone have common sense? Who has brains? it is far beyond insensitive, it is stupid.

Americana at Brand spokeswoman Jennifer Gordon said the pyrotechnics were part of a Christmas tree lighting ceremony that couldn't be rescheduled. "We weren't trying to be insensitive," she said. We just were.

They shouldn't do anything that causes smoke at a time like this. Besides being insensitive, it adds to the health hazard.

Truly a bunch of insensitive people competing for the diminishing dollar. Many folks who lost their homes and possessions are unable to belive that the blatant competition for the bottom line is more important than living in dignity, especially the aged who worked a lifetime for a clean bathroom, a nice lawn warm meals and a place they could simply call home.

i heard the fireworks too. it was highly irresponsible and that spokesperson saying they couldn't be rescheduled makes it even worse: as if you can't cancel a firework display: ridiculous!. it was a poor decision from a faltering retail project. as a former police commission president, rick caruso should know better.

"We weren't trying to be insensitive." No kidding... that's pretty much the definition of being insensitive. Too bad she still doesn't get it.

Corporate America does not re-schedule for anyone; understood?

I live in Glendale, and I was startled by the sound last night too. I went outside, and ran into neighbors who looked as shocked as I was. Many of us had shut our windows and doors because of heavy smoke from the fires.

I can't believe the insensitivity of Americana management for deciding to go forward with the planned fireworks. It was insensitive to people who've lost homes, insensitive to those of us throughout the region who are on edge about the fires. What's more, it was dangerous. All fireworks should be banned during red flag warnings.

Evidently the word CANCEL isn't in her vocabulary . . . how many people actually showed up for an outdoor event on a day with what is probably the worst air quality of the year?

People are too sensitive.
One has nothing to do with the other.
wahhhh

People are too sensitive.
One has nothing to do with the other.
wahhhh

When did fireworks become the symbol of the Christmas holiday? Why could the singing of Christmas Carols have been the start of the cermonies for the lighting of the tree? This country is too in love with fireworks. They are primarilly composed of gun powder and we all know that artillary shells are composed of the same material. Lets get ridof fireworks all together!

The fireworks were great. Why don't you glendale residence stop complaining about the Americana. You voted to have it built. You now have to face the consequences of crowd, parking problems, and noise pollution. Go figure!

suggested response to the incredible insensitivity and poor judgment: do not shop at the americana at brand shopping center in glendale. vote with your feet, and wallet.

Not only was it insensitive, it was reckless. Fire crews are stretched thin enough as it is! Fireworks always need a fire crew on hand just in case a spark gets away, so that pulls overstretched resources out of duty. Or did they just set the fireworks off WITHOUT a fire truck on hand, thereby running the risk of starting another fire?
Maybe there was no red flag warning in that particular neighborhood, but common sense says that when large chunks of SoCal are on fire, you take extra precautions to avoid any activities that could start more of them.

the tree-lighting ceremony couldn't be postponed? god forbid they waited until the second half of november to start celebrating a holiday that doesn't come until december 25th. then again, we know what it's all about... did anyone actually hear jennifer gordon? maybe she made a freudian slip and actually said "ceremoney"...

The fact that the mall directors went ahead with their scheduled plans is a testament to poor policy. Shame on them for being insensitive in a crisis, on a catastrophic day for many of their would be patrons. Their future growth and development will be stunted.

'We weren't trying to be insensitive.'
No. It would appear they are able to do so without effort.

Totally insensitive and idiotic. I went to the Americana once after it opened, and will never go again -- it represents the worst of "Americana" anyway.

Absolutely insensitive. BOYCOTT Americana now!

As an East Coast transplant, I have never understood the logic of allowing fireworks in an area plagued by dry conditions. After watching the hill below Dodgers' Stadium go up in flames one Fourth of July on account of the post-game fireworks, I became even more baffled. Don't get me wrong--I love a good fireworks display. But other than the beaches, I just don't think there are safe places for them in Los Angeles County.

Sounds to me like if they're that oblivious to the word CANCEL as opposed to RESCHEDULE. we need to practice the word BOYCOTT. Very simple. They may have to check the dictionary, but they will learn the meaning of all those words.

Having firework during a Red Flag Day is just stupid. What I want to know is where was the Fire Marshall in all this. Here is Texas you can not have any sort of burning or fireworks during Red Flag Days. Nor during high winds. What were these people thinking? I can tell you what MONEY. They thought month ago that this would bring in money and rather than delay the fireworks portion to later time they failed to use their brains instead of their wallets.

 
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