A man died instantly after reportedly attempting to launch a firework from the top of his head while celebrating the Fourth of July.
Devon Staples, 22, had been drinking with friends in a rear garden when the apparent stunt went fatally wrong.
Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the state Department of Public Safety in Calais, eastern Maine on the Canadian border, said Mr Staples had placed “a fireworks mortar tube on his head and set it off,” killing him instantly.
His brother Cody Staples saw the horrific incident from just five feet away.
He told the New York Daily Times it was a freak event and Devon had been holding a lighter which made it go off “by accident.”
He said: “I was the first one who got there. There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon left when I got there.
“It was a freak accident. But Devon was not the kind of person who would do something stupid. He was the kind of person who would pretend to do something stupid to make people laugh.”
Devon lived in Orlando, Florida, and worked as a dog walker and at Disney World playing characters from Disney classics.
Cody said: “He loved making people happy.
“Anyone who would want to give a tribute to Devon should go out and do something nice for someone. Show some love to someone you donâ€™t know. That kid was all about showing people love.
“He was someone everyone should want to be like when they grow up. He was my younger brother and I looked up to him.”
A number of other firework injuries sustained during the celebration were also under investigation by fire marshals.
Burns and eye injuries happened at events in Friendship, Jefferson, Lebanon and Woodstock.
Devon’s death is the first fireworks fatality in Maine since the state legalised fireworks on January 1, 2012, local authorities said.
In 2011, politicians voted to repeal a 1949 law banning fireworks, reasoning the industry would create jobs and generate additional revenue.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission 11 people died in fireworks-related accidents in 2014, while there were eight fatalities in 2013. – Mirror