MARQUETTE - The company in charge of the Marquette Fourth of July fireworks show, which resulted in a mishap that led to the show being cut short, has decided not to charge the local committee that organized the show for the fireworks that were displayed.
The Marquette Fourth of July Fireworks Committee also received notification from Bruce Tyree, co-owner of the Eastpointe-based Great Lakes Fireworks, that the company would offer a refund of $20,000.
Rosemary Smith, a member of the committee's board of directors, said the group decided to give back $5,000 of the total $25,000 cost of the show to the company for the crew's wages and a portion of the expenses, including transportation.
After a fire caused this year’s Marquette fireworks show to be cut short, the Marquette Fireworks Committee was offered a refund. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
"He's been a pleasure to work with," Smith said.
The committee also has decided to work toward a 2015 show, she said.
The July 4 celebration was stopped early because of a small fire caused by the severing of a main communications cable.
In a July 17 letter to the fireworks committee, Tyree wrote, "During my 20 years in the fireworks industry, this type of abrupt departure from a display is very rare, and to be completely honest, our first."
Tyree said a device that was securely fastened become dislodged, tipped over and burned a main cable. Typically a show is wired in sections and the company is able to "jump" the bad section and continue, according to Tyree. However, he said the crew couldn't locate the point of error in a timely manner to restart the show.
"Once it was discovered, a visual observation on the ore dock showed that the small fire had spread to other sections, and due to the time lapse and safety concerns, the decision was made to stop," Tyree said.
Tyree also said the company looked forward to continuing the "mutually beneficial relationship" with the committee.
"The pyrotechnicians on staff in Marquette have done this show for years," he said. "For them, the biggest rush and sense of pride is at the end of a successful and safe show - when they hear the roar of the crowd and the noise from the numerous cars and boats in the harbor.
"The crew and I are deeply remorseful that we failed to perform a service that you paid for on such a celebrated and special time of year for all."
Christie Bleck can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250.