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State Fire Marshal Suspends Fireworks Shooter’s License 

STOWThe fireworks shooter who conducted the July 4 display in Edgartown is prohibited from pyrotechnics work in Massachusetts for the next five years and his employer could face a two-year prohibition if the company violates the terms of a licensing disposition reached today, said State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey.

Waiving his right to an administrative hearing, Anthony Marson of Maine accepted a 10-year suspension of his fireworks certificate of competency, which is the license a fireworks shooter must have to work lawfully in Massachusetts. Under the terms of the disposition, he will serve five years of that suspension, effective July 6, 2023 – the date on which his license was suspended as an imminent threat to public safety. The remaining five years will be held in abeyance as a probationary period. Marson’s employer, Central Maine Pyrotechnics, also waived their right to a hearing and accepted a two-year suspension that will be held in abeyance as a probationary period.

If Marson or Central Maine Pyrotechnics fail to comply with the terms of their respective dispositions or commit any violation of Massachusetts law or the Comprehensive Fire Safety Code, the portion of their suspension held in abeyance will be reinstated in addition to any additional penalties they may face.

Today’s proceedings followed the discovery of more than two dozen unexploded commercial fireworks shells, which washed ashore on Chappaquiddick Island after the July 4 fireworks display. The shells ranged from three to eight inches in diameter and were highly explosive, with the potential to cause grave physical injury or worse. Both Marston and Central Maine Pyrotechnics acknowledged violations of the Massachusetts Fire Code in connection with the show and its aftermath, including the requirements for proper disposal of unfired shells and a search at first light the next morning for unexploded shells.

“Fireworks are inherently dangerous,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. “Communities trust professional fireworks vendors to handle these devices with the utmost caution and professionalism. We’re extremely fortunate that no one was injured by the grave public safety hazard that unexploded shells posed on a public beach.”

Today’s disposition followed efforts at the scene by the Edgartown Fire Department, Edgartown Police Department, and Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad technicians, as well as an investigation by Edgartown Fire, the State Police Fire & Explosion Investigation Unit assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s office, and the Department of Fire Services’ Code Compliance & Enforcement Unit.

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