‘There was one big boom’
Indications are that the explosion at the Lake Brownwood fireworks display Saturday night was the result of a tube exploding from the inside instead of shooting out a shell, Lake Patrol Chief Troy Henderson said.
The mishap remains under investigation.
“It appears one of the tubes that had the fire fireworks in it exploded from the inside instead of shooting it out,” Henderson said.
The explosion caused fires on the two barges that held the fireworks, as well as nearby Little Crappie and McCartney islands. There were no injuries and no structures were damaged.
The explosion happened 52 seconds into the show, Henderson said.
“The fireworks were going off, and there was one big boom, and they just started going across the water and horizontal,” Henderson said.
As it does at every Fourth of July fireworks show, the Dam Volunteer Fire Department was staged nearby as a precaution, Henderson said.
After the explosion, boats with the Lake Patrol and Parks and Wildlife ferried firefighters onto McCartney Island to fight the fire. On Little Crappie Island, where no structures are located, the fire burned itself out, Henderson said.
Fireworks continued to go off after the explosion, ignited by the heat, he said.
Henderson posted on the Lake Patrol’s Facebook page:
“As everyone knows the firework show had an accident (Saturday) night. There were no injuries and the fires on Little Crappie and McCartney Island are out. Big thanks to the VFD's for the great response and hard work they did in putting out the fire on McCartney.
“There were also some people on their docks, Brad Tyson and others that helped. I would like to say thank you to all that helped. I am extremely proud of my troops and the game wardens for going into a possibly dangerous situation, getting the technicians off the island and transporting the VFD personal to the fire on McCartney Island, and then trying to clear everyone out of the area. It was a long night for everyone involved.
“I would like to say thank you to all the spectators also. You exited the area in a safe manner. It made our job a lot easier.”