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Montgomery Fourth of July Fireworks Investigation Completed

Similar Incident in Georgia

Contact: John S. Robison, State Fire Marshal

334-241-4166

7/8/2003

The Montgomery Fourth of July public fireworks display was cut short when fireworks used to conduct the display malfunctioned injuring one employee of the company conducting the show.  A similar incident in Georgia also resulted in one injury.

 

Investigators with the Montgomery Fire Department Arson Unit and the Alabama State Fire Marshals Office, with the cooperation of Vitale Pyrotechnic Industries, have identified the source of the malfunction.  Included in the various devices used to conduct the display was a four inch shell identified as a Wizzard Brand Silver Tiger Tail.

 

The company’s home office in Pennsylvania randomly selected thirty of these devices from their stock and set up a display.  When ignited, the third device of the display malfunctioned, destroying the remainder of the devices.

 

It was originally thought that the cause of the malfunction in Montgomery was hot embers falling back into the area where unexploded devices were awaiting detonation, however, aggressive work by the company identified the correct cause.  This information was then supplied to the Montgomery Fire Department and Alabama State Fire Marshals Office.

 

The devices themselves are manufactured in China and shipped to the United States.  The devices are distributed through Boom Boom Productions where Vitale obtained their supply.

 

Appropriate agencies throughout the country are being notified of the situation to prevent further incidents.  Vitale has removed all of these devices from their supply and none will be used in future shows.

 

The injured employee of the company has since been released from the hospital.