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Fire Marshal on the hunt for illegal fireworks in Jax Beach

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Updated: 7/03/2013 6:57 pm
JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. -- Fireworks are flying off of the shelves in our area and we've tracked some illegal purchases being made right here in Duval County.

Selling fireworks is a booming business in Jacksonville Beach. Extreme Fireworks reports profits are soaring compared to last year, which means Fire Marshal Steve Sciotto's schedule stays pretty full.

He's charged with making sure illegal fireworks stay off the shelves.

Action News went along for the ride as he inspected the tents doing business along Third Street.

Our first stop was at a stand on the corner of Third Street and 17th near the Neptune Beach border.

"I'm from the Fire Marshal's office, I need to do your inspection," Sciotto greeted the tent operator.

It's the day before the Fourth of July, when most tents report the biggest sales.

But how much of those sales are legal? In Duval County, anything that explodes or shoots into the air cannot be sold.

Over the weekend we found hundreds of dollars of illegal fireworks bought at Jax Beach.

Back to Wednesday's inspection, the roadside operation was missing its certificate of registration issued by the state.

"One of the other things I saw right off the bat is the generator and fuel should be 20 feet from the tent," said Sciotto.

We watched as the fire marshal inspected every item on display.

While many of the items look like high-end explosives, everything here came back clean.

"When we think people are doing things intentionally behind our backs, that does get us worried."

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