L.A. County Fire Department had cleared fireworks — even sent a fire captain to monitor them
By Gary Walker
Los Angeles County prosecutors have decided not to file criminal charges against the pyrotechnics operator who launched a midnight fireworks show over Marina del Rey to entertain guests of a Kardashian yacht party on Aug. 25.
Part of a birthday party that reality television star Khloe Kardashian threw for NBA star boyfriend James Harden, the fireworks startled residents and caused noise complaints up and down the coast.
According to a report by the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles County Fire Department had not only sanctioned the fireworks, it also sent a fire captain to make sure they would be launched safely.
The D.A.’s investigation came in response to a request from the Marina del Rey Sheriff’s Station to file a misdemeanor charge.
“The corporate entity which launched the fireworks was issued a permit by LAFD, permitting the display. Per contract, a fire safety officer was to be present the night of the incident, monitoring the event. The fire safety officer on site the night of the incident was an LAFD fire captain,” reads the D.A.’s report declining to file charges.
“The Coast Guard was advised in advance of the event and told involved parties and LASD [the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department] no permit was necessary. [The pyrotechnic company] called and reminded LASD of the planned event in advance as a courtesy,” the report continues.
Ultimately, the permission from and presence of local fireworks officials undermined the D.A.’s ability to file any charges.
“The conduct was permitted and monitored. Given the Coast Guard did not intervene when notified in advance, the Fire Department ratified the use of fireworks by permit ahead of time and the contemporaneous presence of Fire Department personnel the night of the incident, despite community inconvenience, it would be problematic to hold the suspect criminally liable for the consequences of fire department permitted/monitored conduct,” the report concludes.
At the request of L.A. County Supervisor Don Knabe, whose district includes Marina del Rey, the Board of Supervisors is conducting an internal investigation to figure out how lack of communication between government agencies failed to prevent an activity that likely violated local noise ordinances.
Los Angeles County Fire Chief Darryl Osby is expected to report to the supervisors later this month.