No charge for Naugatuck fireworks display


By Andreas Yilma, Staff Writer

Company to pay for damages, overtime due to explosion that cut show short

Burn marks are seen on Breen Field in Naugatuck July 3. A malfunction occurred during the borough’s fireworks show July 2 causing an explosion at the site that also damaged the fence and nearby signs. Central Maine Pyrotechnics, the company that put on the show, won’t charge the borough and is paying for the damages. –ANDREAS YILMA

NAUGATUCK — The borough won’t pay anything for the Fourth of July fireworks show that ended abruptly due to a ground-level detonation and will be reimbursed for damages from the explosion.

The Board of Mayor and Burgesses awarded a contract in March for $15,000 to Central Maine Pyrotechnics Maine to put on the July 2 fireworks show. The contract also included $5,000 for an additional show sometime from September to December.

After about 10 minutes into the fireworks show on July 2, there was a detonation at the ground level where the fireworks display was set up on Breen Field off Hotchkiss Street. Burn marks could be seen on the field the day after the show. The explosion also damaged a nearby fence and sponsor signs that hang on the fence. No one was injured.

Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess said the borough won’t pay anything for the show and Central Maine Pyrotechnics will pay for damages as well as overtime costs incurred following the explosion. There was no damage to the irrigation system underneath Breen Field, according to Hess.

Central Maine Pyrotechnics Vice President Anthony Marson said the company will pay $5,070 for damages and overtime costs.

The State Police Fire and Explosion Investigative Unit was investigating what caused the explosion. State police said last week the investigation was ongoing and there were no updates.

Officials have pointed to product failure as the cause. State police previously said there did not appear to be any evidence to suggest negligence or any criminal aspect to the case.

“Basically the shells didn’t have a lift charge,” Marson said. “The shells had a faulty lift charge.”

Marson said the incident in Naugatuck was unfortunate. He said the company used similar shells for a show in Maine.

“We haven’t had an incidence like this since about 2010,” Marson said.