Fourth of July

Man killed while handling firework on Chicago's Northwest Side

The incident took place at 10 p.m. in the 3000 block of North Kostner Avenue, on Chicago's Northwest side

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A death investigation is underway in Chicago after a man was killed while handling a firework on the Fourth of July.

The incident took place at 10 p.m. in the 3000 block of North Kostner Avenue, Chicago police said.

According to authorities, a 34-year-old man sustained trauma to the body while handling a firework. He was pronounced dead on the scene, police said.

In a tweet posted to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, the Chicago Fire Department said the man was killed by "delayed ignition of a mortar device," which caused "massive trauma." He was later identified as Earl Lory by the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

CFD noted it was one of many incidents related to the use of fireworks.

"CFD responded to many fires overnight in Chicago," the tweet said. "Nearly all started by use of fireworks."

At least 13 of those fires were confirmed as fireworks-related, CFD said.

Officials in Lake County also reported at least two recent residential fires had likely been caused by fireworks.

"The Lake County Sheriff’s Office reminds the community that most fireworks in Illinois are not legal," the Sheriff's office said in a press release. "Every year, deputies respond to calls where people have been critically injured or where structures have burned to the ground, due to illegally used fireworks."

Illinois is one of three states that ban some or all consumer fireworks, though they can be purchased in bordering states like Indiana and Iowa. Under the Pyrotechnic Use Act, which was signed in 1942, the purchase, sale and possession of "consumer fireworks" are prohibited statewide.

Illinois residents can however legally possess items labeled "novelty effects," like sparklers, under state law.

Still municipalities can implement an ordinance banning such items. For example, in the city of Chicago, all fireworks, including sparklers, are illegal.

According to the State Fire Marshal, consumer fireworks displays are permitted only in places that have passed measures allowing them. In order to have a consumer display using approved fireworks, a resident must receive training at the local fire department, undergo a site inspection and apply for a permit through a local government agency.

Despite consumer fireworks being available to those who complete the process, the State Fire Marshal strongly recommends residents experience displays put on by professionals instead.

"Fireworks are never safe, and the only thing we can do is mitigate the potential danger," the agency stated.

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