- Department of Fire Services
Media Contact for Kingston Explosion Prompts Reminder: Leave Fireworks to the Professionals
Jake Wark, Public Information Officer
KINGSTON — The severe injuries suffered by a Kingston man when a destructive device exploded in his basement yesterday are a stark reminder to leave fireworks to the professionals, said Kingston Fire Chief Mark R. Douglass, Kingston Police Chief Maurice J. Splaine, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, and Massachusetts State Police Colonel John E. Mawn, Jr.
The Kingston Fire Department and Kingston Police Department responded to the area of 8 Nobadeer Circle shortly after 1:00 yesterday afternoon following a 9-1-1 call. On arrival, they located an adult male suffering severe injuries to his hands, abdomen, and face. The man was transported by MedFlight to a Boston hospital and is expected to survive.
Based on the nature of the incident and items observed at the scene, fire investigators and bomb technicians from the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office responded to the scene. Hazmat technicians from the Department of Fire Services’ Joint Hazard Incident Response Team and State troopers from the Crime Scene Services Section also responded. Kingston and state officials observed, identified, and removed two destructive devices, as well as components that could be used to create additional devices.
While the preliminary investigation suggests the injured man intended to use the devices as fireworks, the items and substances involved were extremely dangerous – and illegal.
“In the past 10 years, fireworks have caused nearly 1,000 significant fires and explosions in Massachusetts, along with dozens of injuries and about $2.5 million in damage,” said Chief Douglass. “Please, for your own safety and the safety of your family, friends, and neighbors, leave fireworks to the professionals.”
“The possession, use, and sale of fireworks are illegal in Massachusetts even if they’re bought legally in another state,” said Chief Splaine. “State law requires that illegal fireworks be seized and destroyed. Don’t risk a fine and a day in court – leave fireworks to the professionals.”
Last year, joint enforcement efforts by the Massachusetts State Police and Department of Fire Services led to about 40 criminal summonses for violating the state’s fireworks laws. They also took off the streets nearly 3,000 packages of aerial shells, cakes, fountains, bottle rockets, large rockets, Roman candles, sparklers, and other dangerous, illegal devices worth upward of $46,000. Those enforcement efforts will resume this year. The investigation into yesterday’s incident is ongoing.