The fireworks company that launched Monday’s shortened display at Lone Tree’s Sweetwater Park says the Chinese manufacturer is to blame for the …
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The fireworks company that launched Monday’s shortened display
at Lone Tree’s Sweetwater Park says the Chinese manufacturer is to
blame for the evening’s abrupt end.
Boxes that house the mortars caught on fire during the show, and
while it did not stop shows elsewhere, the problem wasn’t limited
to Lone Tree.
“It happened at just about every show we had,” Stonebraker-Rocky
Mountain Fireworks President Bev Snyder said. “I have a call in to
the manufacturer to let them know and find out why.”
It was the first year the company had used that type of box, she
It’s the fourth year Lone Tree’s fireworks have been
disappointing, with grass fires and rain either cutting short
previous shows or drenching those hardy enough to stay at the
Lone Tree council members, upset by the years-long streak of
problems, had a lengthy discussion with South Metro Fire Rescue
representatives during city council’s July 5 work session.
“There is something that’s broken,” council member Jackie Millet
said. “There were precautions taken, but obviously they were not
Deputy fire marshal Howard Handy did not blame the vendor, but
said he thought the mortar boxes used this year were shorter and
made with thinner cardboard than in the past.
A box or two catching on fire during a show is expected, he
said, and they are usually allowed to burn because the maze of
electrical wires on the ground makes spraying water dangerous.
“What we did not expect is so many boxes burning,” Handy said.
“Almost every single box caught fire. That’s abnormal.”
The flames singed the wiring that detonates the shells, fire
officials said, making it impossible for technicians to launch the
remainder of the display and nixing the grand finale.
Snyder, who was not at the Lone Tree display, was upset to learn
it didn’t go as planned.
“That’s not the way we intend to present a show,” she said. ““We
will work with (Lone Tree) throughout this year to do whatever to
make it right. Our business is entertainment. If people aren’t
happy, we do what we have to do to make it right.”
Although council members said some of the bursts appeared too
close to the ground to be safe, Snyder said her crew did not report
any low-bursting shells.
Fireworks also sparked a small grass fire near the boxes, but
firefighters said it was easily managed and not a concern.
Lone Tree is well-reputed for its low-altitude fireworks show,
but mayor Jim Gunning said the city might need to consider changing
“With the luck we’ve had lately, we’re going to need to take a
look and see if there might be another option,” he said.
Stonebraker-Rocky Mountain Fireworks is no newcomer to the
fireworks industry or Lone Tree. The company’s involvement in the
Lone Tree Independence Day celebration predates the city’s
incorporation. Founded in 1954, Stonebraker-Rocky Mountain
Fireworks conducts as many as 100 shows a year in Colorado and
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