UPSHUR COUNTY, Texas -- A fireworks explosion in east Texas left at least one person dead and several others injured on July 4, according to the Upshur County Sheriff's Office.
According to a news release, Upshur County deputies responded to a major fire at The Firehouse Nine Farm Event Venue at about 10:33 a.m.
Investigators believe crews at the venue were prepping for a later event when an accident happened, adding they don't suspect foul play to be involved.
Authorities said fireworks and "other volatile incendiaries" were involved, but details of how the explosives were ignited are unclear.
Four people were reportedly hurt, but Upshur County deputies did not mention the extent of their injuries. Detectives are working to confirm the name of the person who was killed.
Officials say that, on average, 180 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the weeks leading up to and after Independence Day, and more than 16,000 reported fires are started by fireworks annually. Additionally, roughly two-thirds of all annual fireworks injuries happen around July 4. Most of the injuries are burns and are linked to familiar devices like sparklers.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers the following tips to stay safe:
- Do not allow young children to play with fireworks. Sparklers, a firework often considered by many to be the ideal "safe" device for the young, burn at very high temperatures and should be not be handled by young children.
- Older children should be permitted to use fireworks only under close adult supervision. Do not allow any running or horseplay.
- Set off fireworks outdoors in a clear area, away from houses, dry leaves, or grass and other flammable materials.
- Keep a bucket of water nearby for emergencies and for pouring on fireworks that fail to ignite or explode.
- Do not try to relight or handle malfunctioning fireworks. Soak them with water and throw them away.
- Be sure other people are out of range before lighting fireworks.
- Never light fireworks in a container, especially a glass or metal container.
- Keep unused fireworks away from firing areas.
- Store fireworks in a cool, dry place.
- Check instructions for special storage directions.
- Observe local laws.
- Never have any portion of your body directly over a firework while lighting.
- Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.