WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 05, 2011, 09:44 PM

Authorities joining forces to find source of illegal firework

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) - Police are joining forces with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, to investigate the death of a North Fargo man. Neighbors say 41 year-old Jesse Burley was decapitated during a firework accident.

Police are wondering how such a large, commercial-grade firework, which is illegal for the general public, got into the hands of the victim. They say Burley placed the firework in a home-made metal pipe, which would make an explosion much more powerful.

Lt. Joel Vettel – Fargo Police: "Was it operator error, was it manufacture’s error in the product? that is something we will try to determine through the investigation."

Police say they are confident that at nine thirty last night in the 3500 block of Kelly Street, Burley suffered from massive head trauma related to a firework only trained professionals should use.

Vettel - "Fireworks aren't allowed at all in the city limits, but when we have a commercial-grade firework set off in a residential area, it causes us some concern. "

Vettel says there are laws requiring writing on the side of the fireworks, warning that they are specifically for commercial use... A warning, police say, Burley didn't heed, and it cost him his life. Vettel says commercial-grade fireworks are the kind you would see in, for example, a show promoted by a city for a large-scale celebration.