The operator of a fireworks stand in Ashland is arrested after the Nebraska State Fire Marshal’s office responded to a tip about powerful, illegal fireworks being sold. State Fire Marshal John Falgoine says the fireworks looked like any available at any stand across the state.
“They were packaged to appear to be to the ordinary consumer, consumer fireworks. That is where we have our concern because these things are very explosive but they look on the outward level normal fireworks.”
Investigators posing as customers bought some of the illegal fireworks from the stand on Monday.
Ashland Device – video of device exploding
“He was selling these things under the table, on the sly. They were not out on the table for the public to buy but he was offering them to the public but he was offering them to the public. He would make the statement they were a little more powerful. But, the packaging, they had been repackaged so they looked like consumer fireworks.”
Falgoine says these fireworks were more like explosives and powerful enough to cause physical damage.
“They are very dangerous. They are quite powerful. They can cause dismemberment, blindness or even death if an artery gets severed.”
The license of the vendor was revoked and all the merchandise seized. Falgoine says another man, William Kunath of Lincoln was also arrested . He is suspected of selling illegal fireworks as well.
Falgoine says they continue to run traffic enforcement of Nebraska cars crossing into Nebraska to check for illegal fireworks from other states. He says for what they are able to buy out of state, it isn’t worth a fine.
“The only thing they are buying out of state is illegal in this state is bottle rockets. They are still illegal in the state of Nebraska. But otherwise, most of the other items they can buy in this state are legal to purchase at the proper licensed retail outlets at this time of the year.”
Firework sales end on the 4th.
The person selling the fireworks was reportedly not answering questions about where the devices were obtained.