SALT LAKE CITY (ABC 4 News) - The rockets red glare. The bombs bursting in air. All, a little too close to the crowds at two fireworks shows over the weekend. Fourteen people were injured. Many more walked away asking whether enough is being done to protect their families when they take the kids to see the show.
At Spring Mobile ballpark players, coaches, concessionaires and pyrotechnitians are making final preparations for Monday night’s event. The Salt Lake Bees are playing as of the writing of this article. As soon as the game ends, thousands of fans will get up and move from the left field burm, the walkway, the concession stands and the kids' playground onto the playing field, as far away as possible from the fireworks.
This mass move is part of the precautions to try to make sure the people who watch this show are out of harm's way.
"We have to load each one of these fireworks individually and wire them into the firing system," says Tony Beauchaime of Lantis Fireworks and Lasers.
Hidden away behind the left field fence, he and his workers spent the day building a bomb.
"I'm the head pyro," says Beauchaime.
He says every precaution has been taken to ensure the night’s 10:15 performance will be safe to watch.
"We just follow all of our safety procedures, protocol and choreography and it'll be a wonderful display."
Before tonight's post game show, thousands of people will have to move.
"They clear the entire left field burm,” says Steve Klauke of the Salt Lake Bees. “The last two sections of the left field line of upper deck and the lower deck and actually let the fans file onto the field and watch the fireworks from there," he says.
Event organizers hope to avoid what happened Saturday night at Provo's "Stadium of Fire" event when some of the on-field fireworks sparked out of control and fell into the crowd, injuring as many as ten people. An elderly woman was struck on the shoulder and bruised. She was reported to be in good condition the next day.
In Pleasant Grove, another incident as a table tipped and projectiles launched into the crowd. At least four people were reported injured there, though none seriously.
State and city fire marshals tell ABC 4 both shows met all safety standards.
“We’re continuing our investigation,” says Provo Fire Marshal Lynn Schofield.
Chief Schofield goes on to say he and his commanders have already decided to make changes to next year’s event.
“We’ll have cameras positioned at places where we can see what happened if something goes wrong.”
The man behind the second largest fireworks show in Utah this year says he is already taking extra precautions.
"This is just over a hundred pounds," says Chuck Johnson of Vortex fireworks as he pulls a cast iron rocket launcher out of the back of his truck.
It’s heavier and more stable and durable than the old wooden trays,” he explains.
Johnson’s convinced his prototype launchers all but eliminate the chance of tipping and make his shows safer.
He doesn’t stop there. As he revisited the sight of his most recent success, Sugar House Park, where his crews put on a one hour show, launching hundreds of rockets without a single report of an accident, he revealed another of his safety precautions.
“We rope off an area 840 feet from back to front,” he said.
The crowd stood back more than the length of two football fields when they watched the rockets launch and explode over Sugar House Park Saturday night.
"Technically, how did this show score?" I asked.
“We got an ‘A+’” he responded. “That was a combination of the work and the weather, which was magnificent," he added.
As Provo fire commanders investigate Saturday's "Stadium of Fire" mishap, they're looking for video evidence, asking anyone who was there and who recorded video of the mishap on the field, near the stage to contact them.
If you think you’re one of those people or that you have useful video or information for fire investigators, contact us at email@example.com.