Home » News » Public Safety
A fireworks 'nightmare' recalled one year later
Marci Foy, with her husband, Patrick, and daughter, Olivia, remembers the fireworks explosion last July 3 at a Pelham home the family was visiting for a Fourth of July party. They were sharing their experiences for a National Fire Protection Association safety video. As the fireworks exploded, she says, she ran down the deck stairs, sustaining most of her burn injuries to her left side. (Courtesy NFPA)
Pelham fire Chief James Midgley, during an interview for a National Fire Protection Association safety video, says he saw a large mushroom cloud from the fireworks explosion on his way to the scene. courtesy NFPA
A safety video from the National Fire Protection Association shows the damage to the home on Dodge Road in Pelham. Thirteen people, including five children, were injured in the fireworks explosion there. courtesy NFPA
N.H. State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan, in an image from a National Fire Protection Association video, says leave the fireworks to the professionals. courtesy NFPA
It was evidence of what experts call a "rapid exothermic reaction," Midgley said: "a very powerful release of energy over a very short period of time." And he knew something terrible had happened.
"These aren't the typical devices from years ago, firecrackers and bottle rockets, things we grew up with," Midgley said. "These are large explosives, almost like grenades, and they pack a heckuva punch."
The most seriously injured was the Pappathans' grandson, 3-year-old Ben Bertini.
Gleason recounted the call from his daughter the night of the explosion. "She said, 'I've just had the worst night of my life. My nightmare has come true.'"
The Foys and Pappathans could not be reached for comment last week.
Rep. Charlene Takesian, R-Pelham, agreed to sponsor such a measure in the last session, but it was retained in the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee for further study.
According to the state Fire Marshal's Office, there were 19 injuries from fireworks reported voluntarily to the state in 2012.
"It was just a tragic mistake of the people who actually were doing that," he said.
Atlas also has five retail locations in New Hampshire and one in Maine that sell some of the items Takesian's legislation would ban.
"There may be some items out there that need to be looked at, that maybe shouldn't be on the counter," he said, "but we don't believe that the Legislature is the one that should decide which items should or should not be."
Midgley said he's not out to ban all fireworks, just those that caused such havoc in his town a year ago. "Not all fireworks are created equal," he said. "Just because you can get it doesn't mean it's safe."
"We'll have games and a bouncy house and a dunk-tank," Gleason said. "That's adequate."
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Derry police recover stolen box for worn flags - 0
- Chief to Chef: Charlestown veteran chief leaving for food venture - 0
- Fire Marshal's Office didn't condemn school's historic stage - 0
- Driver killed in head-on collision in Columbia - 0
- Hollis teen dies in crash on turnpike ramp - 0
- Woman suffers hip injury while fleeing Campton blaze - 0
- Slippery slide makes Monday driving tough - 0
- Epping, Merrimack motorists hurt in Route 125 crash - 0
- UPDATE: Sunapee driver charged in Vermont couple's deaths - 2
READER COMMENTS: 0
- Police say Keene robbery victim was targeted through online dating site - 0
- Keene police investigating attempted robbery at grocery store - 0
- Nashua teacher contract ratified - 0
- College roundup: Local men's teams go 3-0 for the night - 0
- Girls basketball: Derryfield, Bow girls' teams win - 0
- Hollis teen mourned after fatal crash on turnpike - 1
- Progress reported in Pinkerton-Hooksett high school deal - 1
- LGC subsidiary accused of violating its own bylaws - 0
- Turkey Bowl brawl: Central players suspended, no discipline for Trinity team - 5
Exeter drug sweep nets four
Where is Benghazi? Kuster's refusal to stand
Shea-Porter: GOP ad about ACA in NH is false
Bird blenders: 'Green energy' sacrifice
- Would you support spending local tax dollars to buy your police department a $250K armored vehicle?
- Total Votes: 1072