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Loud firework prompts police investigation, residents respond

Broken windshield
Posted at 3:17 PM, Sep 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-24 17:17:16-04

Billings Police responded to a reported explosion Saturday night near the intersection of Miles Avenue and 5th Street West, which turned out to be a firework that was set off inside a vehicle.

According to the post on the Billings Police Facebook page, the vehicle was previously totaled and vandalized before the incident on Saturday.

The incident occurred around 11:30 pm and residents in the area like Jim and Dar Aldrich were concerned about understanding what had happened.

"I was downstairs listening to stuff and all of the sudden, I heard this big boom," Jim Aldrich said.

To make the matter even more jarring, the Aldriches are both blind and they said neither of them really knew what had happened.

"Well, I heard the same thing he did," Dar Aldrich said. "I'm not brave enough to open the door to figure it out, so we just stayed inside."

Dar said that they rely on their hearing often and something unexpected like this can be frightening.

"We're used to traffic going by all the time," Aldrich said. "But when it's something loud like a tire popping, that can be a little scary."

She also said that while the loud noise jolted her, she wasn't necessarily surprised by the incident.

"With all of the event that are happening these days, I always get worried that we might have an incident in (Terry Park)," Aldrich said.

In the statement on the Police Facebook page, the owner of the vehicle is declining that there is an investigation and there are no known suspects.

Jim Aldrich said he's happy nobody was seriously harmed.

"It did startle me a little, but I just figured it was a big firework," Aldrich said. "It's good no one was injured, but I didn't think much more of it than that."

And the noise appears to be less serious than the Aldriches originally feared, but still Dar worries it could eventually be much worse.

"I used to be able to get out and walk, and then the police came and said please don't do that late at night," Aldrich said. "We just never know what noise is going to happen next."