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Neighbors say nearby home known for big displays

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Dec 28 2012 05:53:00 PM HST

Federal agents and HPD officers clear fireworks out of a Kuliouou house.

HONOLULU -

"Their aerials were, well, it shook the valley.  It shook our houses!  It was like a war zone," said George Digmon.

By daybreak on Friday, federal agents had pulled a pile of fireworks from a house on Kuliouou Road, pulling out box after box, and filling a truck and a van.

Agents also spent the morning coming in and out of the home adjacent to that house.

Neighbors say for several years, they've heard the big booms and witnessed the aerials shooting up from a neighboring house. 

"Today they showed up," Digmon said of investigators ,and he said it was about time.

He said for years, he and several neighbors had been asking police to do something.

"Quite a few of us called and there was no response," he said.

A source with knowledge of the situation told KITV the fireworks were a combination of consumer fireworks and commercial-display fireworks, many illegal to buy and use in Hawaii without a special permit. 

"There's so much vegetation out here, that's a scary thing. You set one house on fire then another and another," said Maria Simmons, who was helping her parents move out of the neighborhood.

"You get to my age and see if you like it," said Robin Ward, who lives down the road.

Despite a few incidents, most neighbors say the environment got much better after the fireworks ban, not only including less noise, but a lot less smoke.

"It stops people from going to the store and just buying indiscriminately, just buying tons of stuff," said Ward.

It took a search warrant to get inside and agents were tight-lipped about who's in trouble and how much, but some say they're just glad it means the new year will be a quieter one.

"So, you know the laws are the laws and we just got to go with it. We're still going to have a good time," said Digmon.

One frustrating factor for HPD is that officers need to catch those shooting off fireworks in the act to arrest them.

Just about everyone KITV talked with said the homeowners are well-liked, and others said they didn't report anything because they loved the local show even knowing it was likely illegal.

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