By Jeff Todd
DENVER (CBS4)– Erica Younkin is all for fireworks to celebrate Independence Day, but when the loud booms were going off in her neighborhood in the spring and at all hours of the night, she decided it was time to take action.
“It’s not about being confrontational,” Younkin said. “There was this message missing of like, there are people with PTSD, who don’t leave their homes, there are animals who jump six foot fences and wind up in shelters or worse get hit by cars. There’s people who have just had small children and they’re already struggling with sleep.”
Younkin started a community group through the website FewerFireworks.org.
Younkin says there are safety reasons to outlaw fireworks but her group finally gives a voice to the human and pet side.
“There’s really tangible ways to start a conversation like, ‘Hey, you may not realize my husband has PTSD,’ ‘You may not realize my dog is really struggling,’” Younkin said.
The group has started to gain traction around northwest Denver and has received good support from Denver Police in District One.
“It comes down to quality of life, sleep stress, anxiety,” Younkin said. “It’s about being a good citizen and a good neighbor.”
Jeff Todd joined the CBS4 team in 2011 covering the Western Slope in the Mountain Newsroom. Since 2015 he’s been working across the Front Range in the Denver Headquarters. Follow him on Twitter @CBS4Jeff.