A 57-year-old Lewiston man died Sunday after a fireworks shell he lit exploded, according to the Maine fire marshal’s office.
Timothy Whitney Sr. lit a “commercial type” firework shell that was set into a cinder block outside his son’s home on Meadow Lane in Sabattus, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland said in a statement Sunday night.
The firework exploded in the cinder block, sending pieces of it into two homes, both 140 feet away, McCausland said. Whitney was standing only 15 feet away when several pieces of concrete struck him. Three other family members, standing 80 to 90 feet away, were not injured.
Whitney died shortly after he was taken to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston, McCausland said.
Whitney obtained the firework, which can only be bought by licensed fireworks operators, in the past year, McCausland said. Whitney was not a licensed operator.
The last fireworks death in Maine was in July 2015 in Calais, he said.