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July 7, 2014

Friday Night Expo Firework Troubles


The Southeast Expo Center fireworks show ran into problems Friday night.

The problems included a fire, a premature finale, and a tree line that infringed upon the view of many event-goers. 

The company that put on the fireworks show was Rainbow Fireworks, which is out of Inman, Kansas according to the company’s website. 

Rainbow Fireworks put on the Southeast Expo 2010 and 2011 July Fourth fireworks show, according to Jerry Lynn Wilson, the manager of the Expo Center. 

According to Randy Crone, the co-chief of the Haywood-Arpelear Volunteer Fire Department, the fireworks were being shot out of tubes that were attached to a trailer. Crone believes that residue gathered on the tubes and it started a fire. Crone said that the fire lasted a little bit before he and a crew were waved over to put it out. The fire delayed the show for around five minutes, according to Crone.   

Despite the delay, the show did start off with a loud bang — however that was because it was the finale.     

“We are going to strive to fix things next year. Things happened that were beyond our and Rainbow Fireworks control,” Wilson said. 

There were around 2,500 people that attended the event, including those who parked on the highway to watch, according to Wilson. 

Along with the fires and the finale making an early appearance, a tree line blocked the view of many. Wilson said that originally the plan was to shoot off the fireworks near the arena, but plans had already been made for that site. Instead, they were forced to shoot off the fireworks on the grounds just east of the softball fields. 

According to Wilson, some of the fireworks did not get high enough over the tree line, which was close to the softball complex, for people to see. 

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