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Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Weather to Celebrate

NEWTON

Yesterday's intermittent afternoon rainstorms were a soggy annoyance for people trying to enjoy the July 4th festivities at Albemarle Park, but they brought smiles to the faces of Newton firefighters.

Unlike Boston, Newton doesn't shoot its fireworks over water, and in past years, embers from the spectacular exploding shells caused small brush and tree fires in the adjacent Avery Wood and the section of upper Newtonville surrounding the park. A Fessenden Street home was even threatened a few years back when dry leaves trapped in a rain gutter caught fire.

Yesterday's rainstorms lasted just long enough to thoroughly wet down the falling ember zone, Lieutenant Alan Leone said, but not long enough to force a postponement of the display. That would have required the department to pay a fire safety monitor overtime to babysit the hundreds of pounds of highly-explosive shells 24/7 until they were actually fired, he said.

"It worked out pretty well," Leone said.

Unless you were forced to eat a waterlogged turkey-on-rye with a side of watered-down potato salad for dinner, that is.

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