Fire marshal: Six hurt in Fourth of July incidents

The Ohio Division of State Fire Marshal announced Tuesday that at least six people, including one firefighter, were injured in fireworks incidents this Fourth of July holiday.

In addition, one fireworks-related fire was reported and more than 5,000 pounds of fireworks were seized.

There may have been additional fireworks-related incidents that have not yet been reported to the SFM.

A firefighter sustained minor injuries in a July 4 house fire caused by fireworks in Middletown and at least three men were injured using illegal backyard fireworks.

Two men in Brown County were injured after a professional fireworks shell ignited in close proximity in an earthen mortar tube the created with a post hole digger.

At least three professional exhibitors were injured when professional fireworks shells detonated prematurely or equipment failed during public fireworks exhibitions.

The following fireworks-related incidents are currently under investigation by the Division of State Fire Marshal or were reported to the Division of State Fire Marshal by Friday, July 8, 2011:

June 24, 2011
Kettering (Montgomery County)
More than 300 illegal fireworks seized

The Division of State Fire Marshal seized more than 300 illegal fireworks after receiving an anonymous tip. Among the 300 fireworks were eight 4-inch shells and more than twenty 2 ¼-inch shells. The fireworks are classified as professional, or 1.3g, fireworks. The investigators also seized various consumer, or 1.4g, fireworks from the duplex. Charges against the man are pending.

June 30, 2011
Toledo (Lucas County)
More than 5,000 pounds of illegal fireworks seized

Acting on a tip, the Division of State Fire Marshal (SFM), the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), the Toledo Police Department and the Toledo Fire Investigation Unit confiscated more than 5,000 pounds of consumer fireworks and modified fireworks that were displayed on shelving like a showroom inside the home. After making an undercover fireworks purchase, a search warrant was obtained and police made entry into the home early Thursday morning. The fireworks were seized without incident.

June 30, 2011
Dayton (Montgomery County)
Illegal fireworks manufacturing ceased

Dayton Police followed up on a complaint that led them to a man making homemade M-80 type devices. The State Fire Marshal took more than 40 of the explosive devices for safe storage while the Dayton Police Bomb Squad destroyed flash powder and other volatile fireworks materials in a remote field. A 23-year-old man will be charged with unlicensed manufacturing of fireworks, advertising and possession.

July 2, 2011
Hillsboro (Highland County)
Fireworks equipment failure injures two fireworks exhibitors

Two professional fireworks exhibitors were injured when a 3-inch salute-type fireworks shell detonated in the mortar tube. It appears other shells may have detonated causing the rack to tip over and the product to fire at the exhibitors. The men did not suffer any direct burns or blast injuries. One Hillsboro Fire Department vehicle was damaged by the explosion. 

July 3, 2011
Lorain (Lorain County)
Fireworks equipment failure injures exhibitor

Division of State Fire Marshal investigators received a report that an exhibitor was injured at a public exhibition in Lorain on Sunday. It was determined that a mortar rack exploded because of the premature detonation of two 4-inch shells. The exhibitor suffered minor injuries from the blast. The man did not suffer any direct burns. The reason for the premature detonation of the shells and the failure of the rack is being investigated.

July 3, 2011
West Chester (Butler County)
Man injured by backyard fireworks

The Division of State Fire Marshal received notification that a man suffered second degree burns to his torso and legs following a fireworks accident. Local emergency officials said the remaining fireworks were burned in a refuse pile by party goers. Because the fireworks were burned, investigators are not able to determine what type of fireworks caused the injury.

July 3, 2011
Sardenia (Brown County)
Two men injured by backyard fireworks

The Division of State Fire Marshal received notification that a man suffered serious burn injuries after he placed a 6-inch professional, 1.3g, fireworks shell into a hole in the ground and lit it. A second man was transported to a local hospital with minor burn injuries. After investigation, it appears the individual used a post hole digger to create an earthen mortar tube. With a lack of understanding of how the fireworks device worked, he hand lit it causing the detonation in near proximity to his upper body. 

July 4, 2011
Middletown (Butler County)
Firefighter injured in house fire caused by fireworks

A Middletown firefighter was injured in a house fire caused by fireworks. The firefighter suffered burns to his hands and was treated and released from the hospital. The firefighter was able to return to work on his next scheduled day.

July 4th Weekend
Columbus (Franklin County)
Columbus Fire Investigators seize illegal 1.4g fireworks

Columbus Division of Fire investigators seized an unknown quantity of consumer, 1.4g, fireworks from an individual who was believed to be illegally possessing and selling the products. The fireworks were confiscated and the individual will be issued a citation.

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