The State Fire Marshal’s Office handed down a stiff penalty for the company responsible for leaving behind unexploded shells in a multiple towns including Waltham after this year’s Fourth of July celebrations.
Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan announced on Nov. 1 that the Fireworks Users Certificate of Pyrotecnico, the company that distributed the defective explosives, would be suspended for one year effective July 10, 2012. As a result, the company will not be able to participate in Fourth of July displays in 2013.
Following fireworks shows this year, unexploded shells were discovered in Wilmington, Stoughton, Waltham and Ware.
Newton resident Tony Gentile, who put on shows including the one in Wilmington, agreed to an administrative disposition of a six-month suspension for failing to conduct a thorough search.
David C. Bilodeau was given a three-year suspension and Peter A. Tremblay received a two-year suspension for the same reason.
“Fireworks are extremely dangerous, even for professionals,” said Coan in the statement. “The regulations require a first light search to ensure that the public does not encounter any unexploded fireworks shells the next day. In these cases, that was not done adequately.”
Pyrotecnico president Stephen Vitale issued a statement of his own, and said that the company is disappointed in the outcome of the investigation but that he looks forward to resuming work in Massachusetts in the years to come.
“An internal review of our procedures determined that the unexploded shells were the result of a defective product, which we separated from our inventory and permanently removed from use,” said Vitale. “This internal review will also inform enhancements to our safety training procedures moving forward.”
Though the shells found in Wilmington did not explode before they could be located, the same can’t be said in Stoughton where they were run over by a school maintenance worker mowing the lawn.
“It is unacceptable that a child might wander from a playground and pick up one of these shells or that a town worker might run on over with a lawnmower,” said Coan. “That’s why we have these regulations to protect the public.”