A man is dead after a fireworks accident Saturday night.
According to reports, 22-year-old Devon Staples died instantly when he put a fireworks mortar on his head and set it off, said Maine Public Safety Spokesperson Steve McCausland.
McCausland says Staples had been drinking with friends at a home on South Street in Calais Saturday night. The incident occurred at approximately 10 p.m.
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.”
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 don’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.”
State officials say this is the first death attributed to fireworks since Maine legalized them two years ago.
Investigators said there were non-fatal injuries from private fireworks incidents in Friendship, Lebanon, Jefferson, Woodstock and a separate incident in Calais. McCausland said those injuries consisted of burns and eye injuries.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission 11 people died in fireworks-related accidents in 2014, while there were eight fatalities in 2013.