STOCKTON, CA - Maybe it was because he hadn't slept in nearly a day, but Stockton Fire Battalion Chief Rick Stubstad seemed almost amused as he described the scene Thursday night.
"We were fighting this for over an hour and fireworks were still going off above our heads. They just don't care," said Stubstad.
But Stubstad wasn't amused or pleased at what happened on the 4th of July. He said he was sickened at the damage done to an East Stockton business apparently because of illegal fireworks that kept going even though Stubstad and his team were trying to put out a 3-alarm fire.
"They don't care that we're here, or the police department that was here for traffic control. They were still lighting them off while we were here," said Stubstad.
Long before the fire at M. Calosso and Son, a company that produces fruit shipping material, Stockton fire crews scrambled to put out grass fires that sparked all over the city. Several were apparently sparked by a north moving train.
"Wheel bearings over heat and start to self destruct. Pieces are on metal, while the train is moving down the tracks," said Stubstad.
The fire veteran had no trouble ranking the difficulties faced by his department on the holiday.
"Yesterday was number one," he said.