Colorado Springs pastor caught on video lighting banned fireworks


This Fourth of July, there were fewer rockets red glare around the state because of high fire danger.

In fact, many counties had fireworks bans in place, but despite pleas and warnings, many chose to ignore them.

One Fourth of July celebration in Monument involved fireworks being set off by Springs Church Lead Pastor Mike Petillo. 

The video was posted across social media pages, including that of Commission US Outreach, a Christian nonprofit. Petillo’s neighbors contacted FOX21 News, angry at the pastor for ignoring the firework ban and their safety.

“I mean there’s a lot of people that have lost their entire lives over this, so this is not funny or acceptable at all,” one concerned neighbor, who didn’t want to give her name, said.

We tried getting ahold of Petillo at the church to ask him about the video and the fireworks being used, but received no response. 

We then went to his house, but our first attempt was ignored. 

Minutes later, we saw him outside and approached him. He had this to say. 

“I was told anything that shoots up in the air that projectiles is banned and you can’t do anything like that, but everything we had were ground effects, like they don’t shoot up,” he said. “They just sparkle. I was told, ‘Yeah, that’s not a problem,’ and then the police came and said, ‘No, those are banned’ and I said ‘okay.'”

Petillo was not interested in watching the video and did not want to provide additional comments. We spoke to Monument Police, but they could not confirm Petillo’s claims at the time. 

However, police did say the fireworks in the video are not allowed. 

“It’s sad because churches do stuff when things happen to the people and in the community, and it is sad seeing someone in that position potentially putting someone in danger,” the neighbor said.

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