Police chief warns ‘extremely dangerous’ fireworks in community

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 11 December 2020 at 12:31 pm

Residents urged to call 911 and have fireworks removed

Provided photos: These homemade fireworks were made by Gary Tarr, who faces felony charges for reckless endangerment and arson for a fire on Saturday that caused extensive damage to three houses. The fireworks are about the size of toilet paper rolls.

ALBION – The man facing felony reckless endangerment and arson charges after a massive fire on Saturday shared many of his homemade fireworks with people in the community.

Gary Tarr shared his homemade fireworks.

That is a huge concern for local law enforcement officials.

“We do know they are extremely dangerous,” Albion Police Chief Roland Nenni said at a news conference this morning. “If you know where devices are, we want to recover them.”

Nenni said no one will be charged for being in possession of the illegal fireworks. The police don’t even need the names of people who have them.

Nenni urged people who have the fireworks to call 911 and local law enforcement will respond. The fireworks will likely be removed by bomb technicians from Monroe County.

“They are extremely dangerous and we want them so we can dispose of them,” Nenni said.

Gary Tarr, 56, was mixing compounds with commercial grade fireworks last Saturday. He lit a small portion of the firework to test it, and it exploded.

These fireworks were recovered by bomb technicians from Monroe County. The fireworks have a very quick burn rate and could explode soon after being lit.

The garage at 221 West State St. quickly was engulfed in flames, and explosions continued for 15 minutes after the initial blast.

Three houses were badly damaged in the fire. Tarr was inside the garage after the first initial explosion. Nenni said Tarr is lucky to be alive. He suffered facial and torso injuries, as well as an “extreme loss of hearing.”

Nenni doesn’t know how many fireworks made from Tarr are in the community. They have a very fast burn rate once the fuse is lit, and Tarr used “highly combustible” materials in making the fireworks.

He was able to purchase the compounds from local stores, and was mixing those materials with commercial grade fireworks, Nenni said.

The result are fireworks with no quality control.

“We know they have been distributed in the community,” Nenni said. “These are extremely dangerous.”

Nenni stressed for people to call 911, and they won’t face any charges.

“If you have them don’t drop them off or touch them,” Nenni said. “Call us.”

Photo by Tom Rivers: The explosions in the garage at 221 West State St. quickly caused a fire to spread to three houses.