Pyrotechnician, firefighter recovering after firework malfunction

Published: Jul. 5, 2023 at 5:20 PM CDT
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CHEROKEE VILLAGE, Ark. (KAIT) - It was a frightful Fourth of July in Cherokee Village after a firework malfunction injured two people on the Lake Thunderbird dam.

“One of the pyrotechnics malfunctioned, exploding on the ground,” Fire Chief Kal Dienst explained. “It caused a couple of other pyrotechnics to go off.”

The fireworks struck the pyrotechnician and a firefighter but luckily left them with minor injuries.

“The pyrotechnician went and got checked out. I bet he’s pretty sore this morning but had pretty good bruising. My guy just grabbed the line and went to work,” the fire chief stated.

Dexture Inman and his family watch the fireworks on the dam every year.

“Pretty much just sitting there watching the fireworks. My kid’s first year there. We were enjoying it sitting on the dam like I always do because you can feel the rumble when they go off in the sky,” Inman explained.

The Inmans quickly backed up after seeing the fireworks fire incorrectly.

“Next thing we know, one prematurely went off, and we were maybe a football field and a half away. The kids got scared, so we jumped up,” Inman said.

Dexture said he knew fire officials had the scene under control, but the scene still frightened him and his family.

“I’ve been there a lot. I knew they had it under control, so it didn’t scare me too much, but the kids freaking out did get my adrenaline pumping,” he added.

Chief Dienst said Tuesday evening’s event was a learning moment for him and his department.

“We are taking lessons learned and are going to change up a few things we do in the future to make sure it doesn’t happen to this extent,” he explained.

The chief said he’s looking at the positives of the situation, as things could have been much worse.