Unexploded Mortar in Father’s Hand Causes Fatal Fourth of July Incident

A tragic incident unfolded in Chicago on the Fourth of July when a father of two, with a third child on the way, was killed by a firework. The 34-year-old man, Earl Lory, was reportedly examining an unexploded 12-inch mortar tube when it detonated in his hand. The explosion was so severe that human remains were found on neighboring properties, necessitating a cleanup by the Chicago Fire Department in the alleyway where the incident occurred.

Lory had been setting off fireworks as part of the holiday celebrations when one of the devices, described by neighbors as a “footlong mortar tube,” failed to ignite. He approached the unexploded firework to investigate, holding it in his hand when it suddenly exploded, causing a fatal head injury. The Chicago Police Department confirmed the details of the incident, which were also reported by local media.

The police stated that Lory “sustained trauma to the body,” and the Sun-Times reported that he died from head injuries at the scene. The alley in Belmont Gardens, where Lory had been setting off the fireworks, is known to be a popular location for holiday displays involving large explosive devices, according to local residents.

The Chicago Fire Department revealed that they responded to at least 13 fireworks-related fires on the night of the incident. They confirmed that “one person was killed by delayed ignition of a mortar device, causing massive trauma.” The incident is still under investigation by detectives.

In a separate incident in South Carolina, another father was killed instantly when a firework he had lit on top of his head exploded. The man, who was wearing a stars and stripes outfit and top hat, left his family “traumatized” by the incident.