Fireworks accident decapitates Fargo man

Party Rooster

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Darwin strikes again!

Published July 05, 2011, 03:57 PM
Eyewitness: Fireworks accident decapitates Fargo man

Neighbor: 'I'm never going to light a firecracker again in my life'A 41-year-old father of two was killed when he lit a commercial-grade firework, an explosive that is federally regulated.

By: Heidi Shaffer , The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead

FARGO — An eyewitness here says a Fourth of July fireworks accident decapitated a Fargo man Monday night.

Police identified the victim as Jesse William Burley, a 41-year-old father of two, who enjoyed life to its fullest, said Burley’s stepfather Chuck Asplin of Fargo.

Chris Hanson, Burley’s neighbor who saw the accident, was packing up his car to leave north Fargo’s Riviera Heights mobile home park as tornado sirens sounded just before 9:30 p.m.

Burley was getting ready to set off a second round of what Hanson said he believed was either a homemade or illegal artillery shell firework.

“He went over into the middle of the street, and within 10 seconds of us talking to him, he lit it and all we saw was a cloud of smoke, a bang,” Hanson said.

What Hanson saw next immediately sent him into shock, he said.

“When I walked up to his body, it was nothing but his shoulders down,” Hanson said Tuesday.

Police Lt. Joel Vettel said Tuesday police are confident the device was a commercial-grade firework, which are federally regulated.

The area Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is assisting Fargo police to investigate whether this type of firework was illegal and how it was obtained, Vettel said.

Hanson said that on Monday evening Burley asked him over to his trailer to check out something. Burley showed Hanson fireworks that contained a warning that read, “If found please report to the U.S. government,” Hanson said.

“Right there and then I knew that I had to get away because I was not going to be involved in that,” Hanson said.

Burley ignited the first firework, which went off with a big bang but no injuries, Hanson said.

“You could see the shock waves in the air,” he said.

An hour and a half later, Burley lit the fatal second firework, Hanson said.

The accident should be used as an example of how dangerous fireworks can be, Hanson said.

“I’m never going to light a firecracker off again in my life,” he said.

Burley’s family remembered Jesse as a good-hearted kid, who would do anything for anybody, said Asplin, his stepfather and boss at Chuck’s Sandjacking in Fargo.

Jesse Burley had a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old son who were not at his residence at the time of the accident.

Fargo police recovered a third firework device in Burley’s home on Tuesday and a metal pipe near the accident site at the 3500 block of Kelley Street North that was reportedly used as a mortar to launch shells.

“It appears that he was lighting the device off, and so we don’t feel that there were others involved in the incident at this point,” Vettel said.

Burley’s body was sent to Bismarck for an autopsy. There will be a memorial service at 2 p.m. Friday at Boulger Funeral Home in Fargo.

http://www.grandforksherald.com/event/article/id/208805
 

LiddyRules

I'm Gonna Be The Bestest Pilot In The Whole Galaxy
Jun 1, 2005
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#2
Tears came from my eyes picturing this. Maybe because I imagined him doing that weird grabby hands thing Jason's moms did at the end of F13 1.
 

fletcher

Darkness always says hello.
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This story has it all, Fargo, head explosions, fuck, even Chris Hanson. Tons of low hanging fruit. Scanners it is.

 

Party Rooster

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#5
This story has it all, Fargo, head explosions, fuck, even Chris Hanson. Tons of low hanging fruit.
Not to mention this line:

Burley’s body was sent to Bismarck for an autopsy.
I only play a medical examiner on the internet but I'm going with "decapitation" as cause of death...
 

OilyJillFart

Well-Lubed Member
Sep 26, 2008
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#6
The idiot probably stood over the tube too long after he lit it, or came back and looked down it.
A pound of projectile going a couple hundred FPS is going to take a head off.
Shame people are too stupid to have safe fun with dangerous shit.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
Sep 15, 2004
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#7
Professional fireworks can still make oopsies.

Was at a 4th of July party and a six inch motar prematurely detonated (50' out of the tube). The star burst was crazy. A few of the VN vets started flashingback, too. Good times.
 

BIV

I'm Biv Dick Black, the Over Poster.
Apr 22, 2002
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#9
There's more to life than a giant firework, you know. Don'tcha know that? And here ya are, and it's a beautiful day. Well. I just don't understand it.
 

Ballbuster1

In The Danger Zone...
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I only play a medical examiner on the internet but I'm going with "decapitation" as cause of death...
No shit. It's pretty obvious what killed him.
What's left to determine? A toxicology report?

He lived in a trailer park in North Dakota.
Of course he was probably drunk.
 

Hoagie

I suggest you tread lightly
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Mar 24, 2004
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#12
By the description of the first one he lit off it actually sounds like they were blast simulators and not fireworks. The military uses blast simulators to simulate the sound of tank and artillery shells exploding on a battlefield during training.
 

DeltaPin

Well-Known Member
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Feb 17, 2005
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#13
At least he died doing what he loved; separating his head from his body.
 

Motor Head

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Jan 23, 2006
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Fargo’s Riviera Heights mobile home park as tornado sirens sounded just before 9:30 p.m.
God (the flying spaghetti monster - all praise his garlicy goodness) hates trailer parks. He sends the tornadoes there first. I know I'm not the only one on here that would love to see video of this mobile home dweller getting his head blown off.