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.