Deaths, injuries, and fires caused by fireworks, July 4

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New Madrid, Missouri-
A New Madrid, Missouri volunteer firefighter, Bill Poley, 40, was killed when a fireworks mortar struck him while he was assisting with lighting the mortars at their local fireworks show on July 4.

Charles City, Iowa-

Thirty-seven people were injured Friday night in a malfunction during the Charles City fireworks display .


According to a spokesman at the Floyd County Medical Center, 34 people were treated at the hospital Friday night. Another three victims who suffered injuries as a result of the fireworks incident, came into the hospital today for treatment.

Assistant Fire Chief David Boehmer said today 12 of the injured were taken to Floyd County Medical Center. Condition reports were not immediately available but Boehmer said there were no fatalities.

Boehmer said the incident was apparently caused by a misfire involving 13 racks of firework tubes.

HERE is a link to a video of the malfunction.


Cincinnati, Ohio (Union Township)-
Seven people were injured when a spark fell into a bag of fireworks and exploded. Two people taken to hospitals had second-degree burns and five others – four of them children between the ages of 2 and 9 – were treated at the scene for minor burns.

Ticonderoga, New York-

Three people were injured Friday night about 10:40 p.m. during Ticonderoga’s fireworks display when a rocket prematurely exploded after its fuse was lit, sending fragments of the device in a 200 foot radius. Some fragments struck several employees of Pyro Engineering Inc. of Nassau County which was conducting the fireworks in addition to two people attending the display.


Pyro employee John M. Michalak, 42, who lit the fuse of the explosive device, was transported to Moses Ludington Hospital for lacerations and bruises on his right leg, the Essex County Sheriff’s Office said. He was later transported to Fletcher Allen Hospital in Burlington, Vt.

(From North Country Gazette)

Port Huron, Michigan-
A 51-year old man was critically injured when he was struck in the face by a fireworks mortar. He was listed in critical condition at a hospital in Ann Arbor.


Riverside, Ohio-
A man lost part of his leg when fireworks went off inside his SUV, blowing the windows out.

Bayville, NY-
A 6-year-old girl in Bayville, N.Y., suffered second-degree burns when fireworks landed in her lap. Investigators said it was not immediately clear who launched the fireworks but said the child was not at a public pyrotechnics display.

Toledo, Ohio-
Fireworks landing on the roofs set fire to and destroyed eight apartment buildings and damaged three others, home to 200 people.

The Solution-
I don’t know what the answer is to the injuries and fires caused by fireworks. The worst incident, injuring 37 people, was put on by a professional fireworks company, J&M Displays of Yarmouth, Iowa. Many of the other incidents were the results of individuals exercising their right of stupidity, which is difficult to legislate against. The Police Chief of Toledo where the eight apartment buildings were destroyed is calling for a fireworks ban.

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