Does anything say Independence Day more than fireworks? It just wouldn’t be the same without seeing the rockets’ red glare and hearing those bombs bursting in air. And then there’s the fragrant scent of that freshly burnt powder. Ahhhh. But the shows scheduled for Bainbridge Island and Poulsbo, Washington went off sooner than planned – about a week and a half early, actually – and quite unintentionally when Charles Shapard, owner of the Belfair Tire and Auto wrecking yard, decided that 1:00 am last Monday was just the right time to give his new rifle a workout. And now the lucky guy will probably be enjoying the smell of burnt powder for months . . .

The fireworks meant for the BI and Poulsbo 4th of July shows – $80,000 worth – were being stored in a shipping container at the wrecking yard. From seattletimes.com:

“One of the [rifle] shots hit a junk car in his yard and must’ve ricocheted and struck the (container) that contained $80,000 worth of fireworks. Well, within about a second the box contained no explosives,” said Ron Krell of Viking Fest, who is helping organize Poulsbo’s 3rd of July show. “It exploded, and we had the greatest fireworks show you ever would have wanted to not see.”

The blast was felt for miles and the container was propelled 20 feet before being burned to a smoking shell. As fire investigator Jeromy Hicks, for whom brevity is definitely a virtue, described it, “It went boom.”

Organizers have been scrambling to raise funds to replace the prematurely presented pyrotechnics ever since the explosion so the Fourth won’t go without an appropriate observance. Mr. Shapard’s business insurance evidently doesn’t cover accidentally ignited illuminations. And while we know he won’t soon forget what happened (his retinas are probably just now recovering), we’ll make sure he gets one of our coveted trophies to emblazon his name in the IGOTD firmament for all time.

9 Responses to Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day: Pyrotechnic Edition

  1. Stupid… he’s lucky nobody got hurt.

    Luckily, folks in Bainbridge can travel to nearby Seattle or Bellevue for a great show. One of my favorite parts of going to college at the UW in Seattle was walking down to Lake Union to have a picnic and enjoy the awesome fireworks show that gets put on every July 4th.

  2. Now that’s going to hurt his pocket book…an $80,000 bullet. Wow, and here I have been complaining about the price per round of surplus .308.

  3. I call “baloney” on this story. Was he firing incendiary rounds? (Doubtful)

    The whole thing “blowed up” from a single round of traditional lead? BALONEY.

    Something else happened. But, just like “guns going off” when dropped or when being cleaned… the press reports the seemingly plausible lie / cover-up, and the Hollywood-influenced sheeple buy it.

    • M855 5.56 or M2 AP 30.06 surplus or any other round with round with a steel core? Tracers? Whats your conspiracy theory on what happened? He decided to set them all off inside the shipping container?

  4. Upon be informed of his Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day Award,
    Mr. Shapard replied, “HUH!?!?”

  5. This sounds fishy to me, too. While fireworks are not nearly as stable as demolition explosives, they are not really touchy either. I do not think compression from a bullet impact would have touched off an explosion. There would have to be a spark of some sort. A steel core bullet, perhaps striking something, but man that would be a “lucky” shot.

    • How hot do you think a steel core bullet is after going through a steel shipping container’s wall?

      Pretty damn hot, I’ll bet, sparks or no sparks.

      • Also calling BS on this story. I actually consulted with one of the fire investigators I use regularly (I’m an attorney who primarily works with fire cases) and he said that, at least in his experience, radiant heat (like you would get from a hot bullet) is insufficient to cook off fireworks, and you’d need some sort of open flame or spark.

        My best guess is that homeboy mistakenly thought he had insurance coverage on the pyrotechnics and needed a quick payday, so he torched them and came up with this cockamamie story because, obviously, his insurance wouldn’t cover intentional acts.

  6. The Fireworks didn’t belong to him. They were just stored there. The investigation revealed that Fireworks were probably not stored in the type of container required by BATF regulations. Who (sober?) starts shooting a new rifle at 1 am in the morning? G2G

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