Firefighters loading mortar tubes for a Wyoming town’s Fourth of July show got a fright Wednesday night when one ignited prematurely, The Scottsbluff Star-Herald reports.
“As soon as that happened, everybody started bailing out of the building,” said Chief Lance Petsch of the Torrington Volunteer Fire Department, reported The Torrington Telegram.
The explosion set off the other fireworks, sending the entire show up in smoke and badly damaging the fire station, a post on the agency’s Facebook page says.
After evacuating, firefighters returned to douse the flames, according to the post. One firefighter was treated at a Torrington hospital for minor injuries.
The firefighter suffered a hand injury, The Scottsbluff Star-Herald reported.
Eight volunteer firefighters were loading shells as large as 4 inches in diameter into mortars to be set off for the Independence Day show when one launched about 8 p.m. Wednesday, The Torrington Telegram reported.
The resulting explosions caused heavy damage to the fire station in Pioneer Park as thick smoke poured out of the building, according to The Scottsbluff Star-Herald.
The Wyoming State Fire Marshal’s Office will investigate the incident, the department’s Facebook post says.