Plano’s All American Fourth of July fireworks display was a celebration to remember this year and nearly sent a few Americans to the hospital over the weekend as several grass fires erupted at several different locations. 

No one was injured and no structures were damaged. Several acres of field was burned.

“Our firefighters were in place during the fireworks display,” Plano Fire Chief Sam Greif told Local Profile. “That’s why they were there. If something went wrong, they were prepared to act quickly. That was the case Saturday evening. When there was a malfunction with the fireworks, our crews extinguished grass fires in a fast and efficient manner. Fortunately no one was injured. And that was the best news of all.”

In a July 5 press release, Plano Fire-Rescue reported that the two of the fires occurred at Jupiter and Spring Creek and one at Oak Point Nature Preserve. As Chief Greif pointed out, firefighters were already on standby for Plano’s fourth annual fireworks show when “random small spot fires broke out as a result of burning embers.”

The largest of those fires happened about 19 minutes into the 25 minute firework show. The show took place at Lavon Farms, which is south of the Plano Event Center.

“Suddenly, there was an unusual explosion from the fireworks launch area that sent additional fire going in all directions leading to more significant spot fires,” Chief Greif said. “The decision was made to stop the fireworks show and address the developing large grass fire that was building. In all, approximately 50 plus acres randomly burned.”

Lt. John Barrett, the acting public information officer for Plano Fire-Rescue, claimed that a 6-inch mortar exploded inside its launching tube, which resulted in a chain reaction of other nearby mortars, according to the July 5 press release.

It took firefighters about an hour to contain and extinguish the hot spots.  

The video below captures the mortar explosion as it happened:

Christian McPhate

Christian has been working as a freelance journalist in North Texas for more than a decade. His stories have appeared in the Dallas Observer, the Houston Press, and Rolling Stone magazine. He covers a...