Fireworks explosion went as planned - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Fireworks explosion went as planned

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- According to the pyrotechnic crew for Rochester's July 4 fireworks show, the display went off without a hitch, and ended with a big boom as planned. 

Although some members of the crowd weren't sure of what to think.

After the grand finale of Wednesday night's show, a ball of fire rising into the air from the launching area followed by a large boom.  Leaving many wondering what happened?

Sabrina Howard was one of those people.

"We all thought it was a mistake initially," she said.  "None of us have actually seen that before in a fireworks display. And we were caught off guard by that."

Which is exactly what Terry Meiley's crew was aiming for during the prior day's setup.

"I think that some of the close up stuff that we are going to be doing and then theirs going to be some surprises that people won't expect," said J & M Displays Pyrotechnic Linda Eddo.

"It's called different things," said J & M Displays Pyrotechnic Terry Smiley.  "Some people call it a remora bomb. Some people call them a fire ball, or flame effect, or impact simulator. essentially it's something as harmless as coffee creamer."

It's a five gallon fire-propelled drum.

"The whole object is to propel the coffee creamer up into the air," said Smiley.  "Spread it out so it's a fine dust in the air and at the same time ignite it."

It's a process Smiley compares to how silo fires occur with grain dust.  "If you do it in the open air like we do it will just be a flame," he said.  "If you do it in a contained area like a grain silo, you can blow up the grain silo. And there have been some horrendous accidents because of that.  Because it's all contained. The Grain silo becomes a giant firecracker."

And although it may have looked unintentional it wasn't harmful.  And remains harmless the day after.

"You can see the spots where we had the five gallon containers set off," said Smiley.  "It's perfectly edible although I wouldn't recommend it it's pretty filthy now. But it doesn't leave a chemical residue behind. It's something that maybe some animal might eat, I don't know. But the first rain storm it will be gone."

Smiley says the last boom heard from the show is called a 'ground salute' and has ended the Rochester show for many years.  It's the fireball in the sky combined with the final boom that may have concerned some show-goers.

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