Fireworks accident kills Mo. firefighter

Monday, July 7, 2008

NEW MADRID, Mo. -- A volunteer firefighter was killed after being struck by a fireworks mortar during a city Fourth of July display along the Mississippi River.

Bill Poley, 40, of Marston, Mo., was helping light fireworks Friday night when the mortar struck him, New Madrid police chief Claude McFerren said Saturday. Poley, a New Madrid Fire Department volunteer, was pronounced dead at the scene after the accident that occurred about five minutes after the show began.

The display was cut short following the accident, but McFerren said he didn't believe the crowd knew what happened.

Poley worked for the city as an animal control officer and street department worker.

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