Ohio man fatally struck in chest by exploding firework in front of neighborhood children

An Ohio man was killed by a firework early Tuesday morning while putting on an early Fourth of July display for his neighborhood's children, the Toledo Blade reports.

Floyd Temple, 61, was setting off an array of fireworks around 12:30 a.m. in his front yard when a large mortar tipped over and exploded, striking him in the chest and killing him instantly, according to Sterling Rahe, a spokesman for the Toledo Fire & Rescue Department.

Police responding to a call about someone lighting fireworks in the neighborhood arrived to find rescue crews who had already declared Temple dead at the scene. 

Neighbor Rick Tuggle told WTOL-TV that multiple children were watching Temple's fireworks display when the accident took place. 

"It went off and his chest exploded, and [the kids] ran over to my house and told me about it," he recalled. "They're probably traumatized right now. They were sitting right there on the stairs when it happened. One of my kids was sitting right there on those stairs."

Setting off fireworks is illegal in Ohio and can be grounds for arrest, Lt. Kevan Toney, spokesman for the Toledo Police Department, told the Blade.

"Our biggest concern is the safety of the residents in Toledo," he said.

An estimated 9,100 fireworks-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospitals over the course of 2018, with at least five fatalities caused by the explosives, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Of those injuries, the CPSC found that an estimated 5,600 occurred in the one-month period between June 22 and July 22. Nearly half were to individuals younger than 20 years old.

The commission has provided a list of tips and additional resources to help prevent fireworks-related injuries and deaths.

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