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Fireworks were inspected in days leading up to malfunction, Fire Marshal confirms

Posted at 3:43 PM, Jul 06, 2024

PROVO, Utah — Provo Fire & Rescue is taking the lead on investigating why fireworks went into the crowd at LaVell Edwards Stadium on Thursday, injuring multiple people.

Provo City Fire Marshal Lynn Schofield says he was at the Stadium of Fire show when this incident took place.

"There was a malfunction of one of the fireworks in the pyrotechnic display that caused the discharge of fireworks into the crowd," said Schofield.

Video below shows malfunctioning fireworks firing into the crowd (Jake Irving)

Multiple injured after fireworks shot into crowd at Stadium of Fire, show stopped

FOX 13 News asked Schofield if he knew what may have caused the malfunction.

"Not at this time, there will be a very thorough and exhaustive investigation to determine that, but at this time, we do not know," said Schofield.

He explained on Friday that the fireworks were inspected in the days leading up to the show, including an extensive inspection on Thursday.

"We go field by field device by device and again, we're looking to make sure that they're properly secured, we're looking to make sure that their wiring appears to be in correct order and at the completion of yesterday's inspection, I signed a permit so that everything met the national standards for a pyrotechnics display," said Schofield.

Schofield says they had no indication there was going to be a problem during the show.

"I have held shows until they could meet the appropriate safety requirements that's my job and had we had any indication that there was a problem last night, we would have held the show," said Schofield.

He says another inspection took place after the incident, before the show was allowed to continue.

"We went point by point through the rest of the fire, the fireworks script for the night and went back up and evaluated and took any device that was similar to the device that was involved in this particular incident, pulled it from the show," said Schofield.

The Fourth of July show was done by Stellar Fireworks, a company based in Wichita, Kansas.

Andrew Nguyen, the President of Stellar Fireworks sent a statement to FOX 13 News on Friday, saying in part: "We love to celebrate America with fireworks, we are saddened and express our condolences to anyone affected by this malfunction."

Nguyen says they have a 40-year history with Stadium of Fire.

Schofield says Stellar Fireworks is a reputable company who he has personally worked with for 19 years. However, he says an incident like this has happened before during this show.

"2010 we had a product malfunction and end up ended up firing several shots into the crowd and there were injuries in that instance as well," said Schofield.

FOX 13 News asked Schofield if it is worrisome at all that this happened more than once with a show that has been put on by Stellar Fireworks.

"Not at all," Schofield said. "Within 48 hours of the incident in 2010, I had a written report from the lead shooter at stellar with his interpretation of what happened."

Schofield says the fireworks were manufactured in China.

He says part of the investigation will involve research into the specific products and to see if other people have had similar issues.

"There is nobody more interested in getting this figured out so that everybody has a good understanding of what happened than us as the permitting agency and, and the fireworks company as the vendor," said Schofield.

He says they asked the Utah State Fire Marshal to assign an investigator to assist them with this investigation.

Schofield says the investigation should take a couple of weeks to complete.

If anyone has any video or information about the incident, you can send to firemarshal@provo.org