Among the many Fourth of July fireworks displays that dotted the vista of Long Island’s Great South Bay last night, one hosted by the community of Point O’Woods went wrong quickly offshore of Fire Island, as an alleged “rocket malfunction” caused the barge itself to ignite.
The display horrified onlookers who came to watch the Independence Day display Sunday evening, as people traditionally gather bayside in Point O’Woods and the neighboring Fire Island communities as a way to top off the holiday.
“It was pretty scary,” said Theresa Tenebruso Marcri of Corneille Estates. “We were on a boat, attempting to watch the Point O’Woods fireworks.”
Macri went on to describe a “random explosion,” and watching rescue vessels mobilize.
Accounts by Ocean Beach Fire Department (OBFD) Chief Ian Levine said Suffolk County Marine Bureau evacuated seven crew members from the barge. They were brought shore to the western neighboring community of Ocean Bay Park, where OBFD Emergency Medical Services treated one crew person for minor injuries on site. The U.S. Coast Guard, Bay Shore Fire Department and Point O’Woods Fire Department as lead responder were also on the scene.
“The barge was loaded out of Islip Town. Once it goes into open water it is under the jurisdiction of the US Coast Guard. It is not a Town of Brookhaven investigation,” said a written statement issued to this publication by the Town of Brookhaven Fire Marshal.
Point O’ Woods Fire Department also responded via text message saying their statement will be forthcoming.
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