Father Dies After Reportedly Setting Lit Firework on His Head

Father Dies After Reportedly Setting Lit Firework on His Head

A tragic incident occurred in Summerville, South Carolina, on the 4th of July, resulting in the death of a father who reportedly placed a lit firework on his head. Allen Ray McGrew, 41, was hosting a fireworks display for his neighbors during a block party and decided to “show off” by placing the firework on his head. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office reported that McGrew suffered fatal head injuries when the firework exploded around 10:30 p.m. He died instantly at the scene.

McGrew’s wife, Paige McGrew, recounted the horrifying moment to the Post and Courier. She explained that she initially thought her husband was merely showboating and did not realize he had already lit the firework. “He was holding this firework over his top hat,” she said. “I thought he was just showboating before he set it on the ground. I didn’t realize he had already lit it.”

The incident occurred after McGrew had been drinking for several hours. He was dressed in a new Uncle Sam costume, embodying his love for Independence Day. His wife described him as a patriot who was proud of his son and excited about his upcoming marriage. “Allen loved this holiday,” she said. “He was a patriot; he was proud of his son and he was excited to have a new daughter-in-law. He was living his best life last night.”

Witnesses at the block party tried to stop McGrew from proceeding with his dangerous stunt, but their efforts were in vain. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that family members pleaded with him to stop, but he continued nonetheless. The firework exploded on his head, causing severe head injuries that led to his immediate death.

The tragic event has left the community in shock. McGrew was remembered as a hardworking HVAC worker who loved life and enjoyed playing hard. His wife, Paige, expressed her grief and described him as a “genuine, good person” who was living his best life on the night of the incident.

Authorities are conducting an ongoing investigation into the incident. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene just after 10:20 p.m. and found McGrew lying on the road with major injuries. He was pronounced dead at 11:10 p.m. The coroner confirmed that the firework explosion caused extreme head injuries, leading to his death.

This tragic incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers associated with fireworks. Despite their festive appeal, fireworks can be extremely hazardous if not handled properly. The incident has left McGrew’s family and the Summerville community mourning the loss of a beloved father and friend.

In a related incident in Chicago, another father, Earl Lory, 34, died from a gruesome head injury caused by a firework. Lory was setting off fireworks when a 12-inch mortar tube did not detonate. He went to check on it, and it exploded while he was holding it, causing massive trauma. Neighbors found human remains on their property, and the Chicago Fire Department had to hose down the garages and roadway where the blast occurred.

Lory, a father of two with a third child on the way, was killed instantly. The Belmont Gardens alley where the incident occurred is known for holiday displays with large explosive devices. The Chicago Fire Department responded to at least 13 fireworks-related incidents overnight, highlighting the widespread dangers of fireworks.

These incidents underscore the importance of exercising caution and following safety guidelines when handling fireworks. The loss of life and the trauma experienced by the families involved are devastating reminders of the potential consequences of mishandling fireworks.

As communities across the country continue to celebrate holidays with fireworks, it is crucial to prioritize safety and take necessary precautions to prevent such tragedies. The memories of Allen Ray McGrew and Earl Lory serve as somber reminders of the risks associated with fireworks and the importance of responsible use.

Source: WCBD, Post and Courier, KTLA 5, WCSC, Chicago Sun-Times, CBS Chicago, ABC7 Chicago

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