Fiery Halloween decor prompts multiple emergency calls

Halloween house in Riverside
(Los Angeles Times)

In California, few things are more terrifying than fire — which may be why one Riverside family thought it would make for perfect Halloween decor.

Carmen and Travis Long said their home’s realistic flame display, part of a “Pirates of the Caribbean”-themed creation, was born from their love of the decorative holiday. But some passersby have found it so scary that they have called the Fire Department.

“They’ve done a pretty significant Halloween decorating job,” said Phil Pitchford, spokesman for the city of Riverside, who noted that the Riverside Fire Department has received five separate calls about the display since Oct. 3, and even “rolled an engine out there once.”

The Fire Department has since made a note in its dispatch system so if a call about flames comes in at that address, officials will know it’s “the house that everybody thinks is on fire but actually is not,” Pitchford said.

Despite the home’s alarming glow, it’s all smiles for the homeowners and their neighbors. Firefighters have even congratulated the family on their realistic display, which includes smoke, billowing orange curtains and sound effects.

The show goes on from 7 to 9 p.m. every Friday through Sunday at Chapman Place and Magnolia Avenue, and at least 300 people turn out to view the display each night, the family said.

Carmen Long told ABC-TV Channel 7 she was happy they could “help bring a little Halloween joy for everyone” during a particularly challenging year.

Holiday visitors have become somewhat of a tradition for the neighborhood. Pitchford said the block is renowned for its annual Christmas decorations as well.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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