Fireworks Warehouse Explodes in Missouri, Forcing Medics to Stage Away

A series of explosions rocked the Spirit of ’76 fireworks warehouse in Boonville, Missouri, on Memorial Day, sending a massive column of smoke into the sky and forcing emergency responders to set up a staging area far from the facility. The incident, which occurred just a few miles west of Columbia, was first reported shortly after 1:15 p.m. local time.

Witnesses said they heard explosions and saw large puffs of smoke coming from the building. The home is located a few hundred yards north of Interstate 70. Photos and video posted to social media showed a large police presence as local authorities encouraged residents to stay away from the scene.

According to Republican state Rep. Tim Taylor, no fatalities or serious injuries were reported. One person suffered a twisted ankle, but all employees managed to evacuate the building safely. Taylor also advised people to stay away from Boonville due to ongoing explosions late Monday afternoon.

Cooper County Fire Protection District uploaded the video to Facebook where firefighters could be seen trying to get things under control. As the video ended explosions could still be heard. Paramedics had to set up a staging area outside of the building to treat anyone that might have been injured.

Spirit of ’76, founded in 1987 by local entrepreneur John Bechtold, is described on its website as the premier fireworks wholesaler in the United States.