Scituate town officials ban bonfires
SCITUATE, Mass. (WHDH) -- Scituate town officials have banned bonfires in light of the Humarock Beach fire that occurred earlier this year.
In Scituate, a decades-old tradition is being snuffed out this summer. There will be no more lighting up the night. The town is banning the annual bonfires that line Scituate beaches, and many are not happy about it.
“If you watch it from the water or the sand, it’s just all the bonfires line the streets,” said Joreen Benbenek.
Robert Graci turned the wooden pallets he had already bought for his annual bonfire into a patriotic fence after fire officials told him they were seizing all bonfire materials stored on private property.
“Most people do want to have bonfires. We do it once a year,” Graci said.
But town officials decided to say no to the annual burns following a different kind of fire last spring. Four houses went up in flames back in March. It wasn't related to a bonfire, but the town says it's a strong warning for how quickly fire can spread between beach front homes.
“I understand there was a fire but in all the years I’ve been coming to bonfires here there's never been a fire because of a bonfire,” said Peter Vergnani.
Scituate beaches will be patrolled by police and firefighters who plan to enforce the ban, fining anyone who breaks the rules.
“I understand they have reasons for what they do but of course it's disappointing,” said Sandra Garfield-Battersby.
After 34 years of lighting bonfires, Robert Graci says he'll have to find a new tradition.
“If they say no fire, there’s going to be no fire,” Graci said.
Scituate town officials reminded people that it is illegal to set off fireworks, fire crackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers.