make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Firework feud

READ MORE: Firework feud
Residents of Sneads Ferry don't take their fireworks lightly. "We need fireworks for all the businesses around here and to bring people in," said Steve Walker, a longtime Sneads Ferry resident. "This is part of what they depend on." Fireworks have drawn large crowds to the town's popular summertime July Fourth and Shrimp festivals for the past six years. But Hale Artificier Fireworks, Inc., the company that's been shooting them, backed out this year citing disagreements with town fire chief Michael Gallagher. "[It's] because I'm advising them that what they're doing is unsafe and they haven't done anything about it," Gallagher said. Gallagher is concerned that spectators sit too close to where the fireworks are set off. He also says in years past he's found left-over fireworks containing gunpowder and other flammable material left on the site. He says overall, Hale Fireworks has not taken necessary safety precautions. In a letter to the Sneads Ferry Community Council the company called Gallagher, "a real thorn." Gallagher says he's just looking after the community's best interests. "If they have an injury and they get sued, they're not going to have it to do anymore," he said. But members of the council say they aren't concerned about safety. "It's no question it's a safe venue," said Council Chairman Tim Supple. "If it wasn't then the county wouldn't give us a permit." Supple says the town and fireworks company have followed all proper procedures. He pointed out safe zone markers on festival grounds, which he says were put in by county inspectors. "We're all trying to keep things safe," Supple said. "We bend over backwards to expand the safety radius." Council members are now trying to keep the fireworks shows alive. They say Gallagher hasn't yet voiced his concerns directly to them. Gallagher plans to file a complaint with the federal board of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Supple said the Council is currently working with another fireworks company to shoot at both summer festivals. He says they have until the end of the month to get the permits for fireworks at the Fourth of July festival.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


notice the Chairman saying

notice the Chairman saying if it wasn't safe the County wouldn't issue the permit. Did anyone ever think thats the problem, they aren't complying with the permit issued, maybe if they followed the permit the chief wouldn't have a problem. See where he is standing in the video, I hope he's not trying to pass that off as where the fireworks are shot from, because thats not the case


There is always some one trying to control everything that might be fun in a town. He is what we call a Debbie Downer.


And the Chief is an expert and the trained Onslow County staff and Hale Artificers, who, by the way, do the State of NC fireworks training, are not?

i'm sure the chief, the

i'm sure the chief, the county staff and the fireworks people all have training, thats doesn't seem to be the issue. the issue seems to be the safety rules not being followed. Is this the same hale that was putting on a fireworks class for local l.e. in this area and had a premature detonation? accidents happen anywhere anytime thats why there are rules to follow to reduce the risk.

I sure the Chief gets traing

I sure the Chief gets traing in all sorts of fireworks stuff, just the same as County folks do, and the fireworks guy too. Training doesn't seems to be the issue, complying with safety rules seems to be the issue. Is this the same Hale that was training some LE folks around wilmington area and had a premature detonation with his training fireworks, accidents can happen anywhere, anytime.