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WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 06, 2011, 08:22 AM

ATF helping Fargo police probe fireworks death

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping police investigate the fireworks-related death of a Fargo man.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is helping police investigate the fireworks-related death of a Fargo man.

Jesse Burley, 41, suffered "massive" head injuries in the Monday night blast, police said. Neighbors told The Forum newspaper and WDAY-TV that Burley was decapitated in a street in a mobile home park.

"He went over into the middle of the street, and within 10 seconds of us talking to him, he lit it and all we saw was a cloud of smoke, a bang," neighbor Chris Hanson told The Forum. "When I walked up to his body, it was nothing but his shoulders down."

Authorities believe Burley was handling a commercial-grade firework that only trained professionals should use, Police Lt. Joel Vettel said. Such fireworks are designed for large shows and are federally regulated.

"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 told WDAY.

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