A devastating incident at a Fourth of July party in Summerville, South Carolina, has left a community in mourning and serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of handling fireworks. Allen Ray McGrew, a 41-year-old man, lost his life after a lit firework exploded on his head, causing severe injuries that proved fatal.

The tragic event unfolded when Allen, dressed in an Uncle Sam outfit, attempted to hold a lit firework over his top hat, thinking it would be a showy gesture. However, his wife Paige and others nearby realized too late that the firework was already lit, and despite their warnings, it was too late. The firework exploded, causing Allen to collapse instantly.

The celebration, meant to honor their son Hunter’s engagement and upcoming wedding, turned into a heartbreaking scene. The Dorchester County Sheriff’s department arrived shortly after but pronounced Allen dead at the scene.

This tragic incident highlights the importance of exercising caution when handling fireworks. Cal Fire’s Santa Clara Unit urges the public to leave fireworks displays to professionals, who can ensure everyone’s safety. The use of illegal fireworks, which contain small pieces of dynamite, poses an even greater risk, often resulting in irreparable injuries and life-altering consequences.

Dr. Cliff Sheckter, Medical Director of the Regional Burn Center at Valley Medical Center, warns of the dangers of using such fireworks. This incident serves as a somber reminder of the importance of handling fireworks responsibly and prioritizing safety during celebrations. Our thoughts go out to Allen’s family and friends during this difficult time.

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