CUMMING — Two technicians working the annual fireworks display in Cumming Friday night suffered minor injuries when a firework mortar prematurely exploded, though neither needed to be taken to a hospital.
One received burns to a hand and the other to a leg due to debris from the ground-level explosion, according to Forsyth County Fire Department Division Chief Jason Shivers.
“[Fireworks in the city display] are larger than what civilians can buy, and there is a sizeable explosion in each one,” he said. “It can do a lot of damage to anything it may hit nearby.”
Fortunately, he said, the technicians did not require medical treatment beyond what they received on site.
“We had our crews standing by, as we do every year, so they were able to respond quickly,” Shivers said.
The malfunction did not affect or delay the finale of the show, which drew an estimated 20,000 to 25,000 people to the fairgrounds and surrounding locations.
And it was the only fireworks-related incident county fire units responded to throughout the weekend, Shivers said, whether from malfunctions or improper use.
He said the wet weather may have been a contributing factor, both in that fewer people followed through with outdoor plans and the soggy landscape helped douse any falling debris.
Authorities throughout the state strongly promoted fireworks safety leading up to the Independence Day weekend in light of a new Georgia law that went into effect July 1 that allows the sale, purchase and use of aerial fireworks.
“I want to believe our efforts to urge people to use caution and be safety-minded, those proactive efforts were a part of us not having a response needed throughout the weekend,” Shivers said.
“If all of that results in the prevention of injury to a single child, it’s all worth it. We were fortunate enough to not have any injuries.”