Accident could lead to law

TICONDEROGA - Ticonderoga is considering a local law to deal with fireworks displays.

The proposal follows an accident during the community's "Best Fourth in the North" July 4th celebration last summer that injured five people and has resulted in two lawsuits.

Both suits are filed against Bay Fireworks of Farmingdale, which set off the Ti fireworks display. The town of Ticonderoga is also named in each, Ti Supervisor Bob Dedrick said.

"We're totally protected by our insurance company," Dedrick said. "You never know when you go to court what may happen, but I believe we're totally protected (from legal liability). This law is aimed at making future fireworks safer."

The proposed fireworks law details the permits and steps required by anyone or group wishing to have fireworks in the town, Dedrick said. It also includes penalties for those who violate the law.

"It covers soup to nuts for fireworks," Dedrick said. "It's a step-by-step process for anyone who wants to set off fireworks."

Five people - two fireworks technicians and three spectators - were injured last July 4 when three aerial shells exploded on the ground during the annual fireworks display in Ticon-

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Technician John M. Michalak, 42, of Argyle had a deep laceration to his right leg, along with minor burns, cuts and scrapes.

He was hospitalized at Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington, but has since recovered.

Three spectators and another fireworks technician, were injured. They were either treated and released at Moses-Ludington Hospital or declined care.

Bay Fireworks President Charles Rappa said at the time his firm had never had anything like that happen before.

"We followed stringent safety guidelines there as we do across the nation. We followed the NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) code and all safety guidelines," he said. "We had an anomaly."

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