ST. MARY'S COUNTY, MD (September 16, 2023) - A 26-year-old St. Mary's County man died early Saturday morning after a firework he was holding exploded, marking the second fireworks-related death this year in Maryland.
Deputy State Fire Marshals responded to the 19900 block of Poplar Hill Creek Lane in Leonardtown at around 2:45 a.m. for a man injured after a firework he was holding exploded.
Upon the arrival of EMS, William Michael McFann of Piney Point was pronounced deceased on the scene. Investigators later concluded that McFann had placed a fireworks mortar tube on his upper chest and attempted to ignite it. The firework then exploded, killing him.
This is the second such tragedy to occur in Maryland in the last few months. Around 9:00 p.m. on July 5, the Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Charles County Sheriff's Office were called to Bannister Circle in Waldorf after a caller reported that a man had been injured while setting off fireworks. Damon Hammond, 20, died after a mortar he was holding exploded, causing serious chest and hand injuries that claimed his life.
"A family's life has been changed forever, and this is a tragic reminder that fireworks should be left to the professionals. I've said it before, and I will say it again: the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public fireworks displays throughout the state," said State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci.