Finale on 4th was not so grand

July 15, 2014

Greenfield — The grand finale to the Greenfield Fourth of July fireworks display was interrupted this year because the outer packaging of the finale boxes started to burn when the finale began.

The finale fireworks were strung together and stopped launching, said Greenfield Fire Chief Jon Cohn. Firefighters extinguished the fire and several other spot fires, he said.

The fireworks team considered loading the unexploded fireworks onto a truck for disposal until an off-site technical expert advised them to go ahead with the rest of the finale because the packaging had been compromised, Cohn said.

So after a delay, the show went on, even though some of the crowd had left, confused at the relatively lackluster finale compared to the usual spectacular endings of the shows.

Upon further investigation, another box was found to be unexploded. Cohn said. It was lighted and launched. Firefighters again extinguished and overhauled some of the boxes.

In a separate incident, a firework exploded in a mortar tube, severely deforming it, Cohn said.

"This is similar to what happened last year in a neighboring community that resulted in an injury to a fireworks crew member and the postponement of the show," Cohn said. "However, due to some additional safety precautions taken at the Greenfield site the malfunction resulted in no injuries and spectators likely not even noticing."

While there were some negative comments on social media, safety is the Fire Department's highest priority, Cohn said.

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