A late night fireworks display off Meydenbauer Bay on Saturday night, caught neighbors attention and drew several complaints.
“Nothing like this has ever happened,” said Jean Chauhan, who has lived in the area since 1946. “It literally sounded like bombs. It shook our building, the reverberation was so powerful.”
A public notice about the event was circulated the week before in the form of email messages and more than 1,000 flyers, said Lt. Richard Burke of the Bellevue Fire Department. A representative with Pyro & Fire FX, which helped put on the display, approximated that between 200 and 250 fireworks were detonated from a barge in Meydenbauer Bay, though the permit lists over 300. Hadi Partovi, a Bellevue area investor with Microsoft, Dropbox and Facebook among his portfolio of work, is listed as the sponsor of the display.
The night of the show, Twitter ignited over the display. Some tweeted images, others complained that they hadn’t been granted fair warning, or denounced the late hour. A public notice that went out over email on Aug. 16 said the show would be 20 minutes long, from about 10:45-11 p.m., though Chauhan estimated that it had started at 10:30 and run for 30 minutes. She also said that meeting with neighbors had revealed one friend had heard and seen the display all the way from Queen Anne.
“It’s not that the show was wrongly conducted, it’s that it shouldn’t have been given a permit in the first place,” she said of the late hour.
Pyro & Fire FX explained that to be permitted the company and applicant first needed permission from the Coast Guard on a local and federal level. A crew of employees from the Oregon-based company was responsible for setting off the fireworks.
“They did complete the permit process,” said Burke. “An email went out to the city and folks that lived in the area, and 1,000 flyers were distributed…It was inspected and permitted.”