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Fireworks company responsible for leaving behind Fourth of July shells receives statewide ban

The firework company Pyrotecnico has been suspended from operating in Massachusetts by State Fire Marshal Stephen Coan until July 4, 2013. The suspension occurred following the events of last July 4th, in which Pyrotecnico left unexploded firework shells in parks and playgrounds in the towns of Ayer, Hingham, Marion, Milford, Newton, Westford, Wilmington, Winchester, and Sharon.

The unexploded shells could potentially have been harmful to any passersby, many of whom were children. As this blog reported back in July, the shells were initially discovered after the company’s July 3 show in Stoughton, when a maintenance worker mowing a field accidentally set off one of the shells. Luckily, due to the swift actions of police officers who searched sites statewide and removed any shells that were discovered, no one was seriously injured. Coan explained that a child playing or even a town worker maintaining the premises could accidentally stumble upon the shell and become injured if it were to detonate. Coan called this “unacceptable.”

According to Coan, the state fire code requires companies to search for unexploded shells the morning after a show, which Pyrotecnico did not do. Stephen Vitale, the company’s president, said in a statement that the leftover shells were the result of a defective product and assured the public that his is committed to safety. He explained that the defective products were “separated from the rest of the inventory” and will no longer be used.

While Vitale said he was disappointed by the decision of the fire marshal, he respected it, and “looks forward” to working in Massachusetts following the suspension. He reminded people that Pyrotecnico had a track record of “providing safe firework displays for more than 100 years.”

Fireworks company banned from Mass. for a year after leaving behind Fourth of July shells, The Boston Globe, November 1, 2012
Fireworks company blames unexploded Fourth of July shells on ‘defective product’, The Boston Globe, November 2, 2012