Man Dies After Setting Off Firework On His Head, Mother Demands Stricter Fireworks Laws

A 22-year-old man accidentally killed himself after stuffing a firework down a mortar tube, setting it on top of his head and lightning it. Now, his mother is calling for tighter fireworks laws in Maine.

Devon Staples was at a party in Calais when, after consuming an undisclosed amount of alcohol, he put the mortar tube on top of his head. Friends tried to dissuade him from lighting it, but ultimately the explosives went off.

“There was no rushing him to the hospital, said Cody Staples, Devon’s older brother. “There was no Devon left when I got there.”

Authorities say Devon’s death is the first fireworks-related death since they became legal in the state three years ago, but his mother insisted that proper training and licensing should come along with the right to set off fireworks.

“There’s a reason why it goes boom,” said Calais Fire Chief Robert Posick. “It’s not just a benign piece of fun. It’s truly dangerous.”

(This article was a submission from freelance writer Brent Rogers)

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • KIM October 20, 2017, 8:11 am


    • Bad Penguin October 20, 2017, 11:13 am

      This is simply Darwin at work. Probably should have started with his mother before he has conceived.

  • Barry e Swartz md jd October 20, 2017, 7:31 am

    I respect and appreciate the mother’s loss. However, a youth drinking and doing stupid stunts with fireworks would not be adided by a law for a course in fireworks safety. I would assume at some point moms tell their children “play with things that can blow your head and/or hands off”

  • John D Harris October 20, 2017, 3:27 am

    I am one of those “trained professionals” that are referred to, when people talk about “should be done by”, etc otherwise referred to as a pyrotecnician. None of the personnel on my crew, or ANY of the crews that work for the company even think about touching a drop of the stuff before ALL the tubes have been checked by 3 two man teams, to verify that there are No Live Shells. At that point, we’re dealing with wood screws, lumber, hdpe tubes and stacking the equipment on the trailer. The words “HOLD MY BEER AND WATCH THIS” are never spoken. Every one of those shells is a bomb. In close proximity, it is more than enough to end a life, particularly at close range, especially, if one lacks protective gear. This victim of his own lack of judgement used the largest shell available to him 1 7/8”, which is the smallest individual shell we use in shows. Safety, and doing it right every time means that I can show up for the first show of the new year and see the same people who, despite the deadly seriousness nature of our safety rules, are ready for another year of the most intense fun imaginable. Who the heck needs alcohol when the rush of lighting dozens of 4″ shells is a reality. (We use bigger shells, but most of the time, we hand light anything 4″and under. The concussion of a 10″ she’ll launching would knock someone flat if they were standing close enough to light it. The fuze is 8′ or so. Burning 85fps, that’s less than 1/10th of a second. No time to move away.). Unfortunately, this sort of incident gets lumped in with the accidents that DO happen on shoot sites. In other words, despite there being no specific insurance for that incident, somebody will get sued. Somebody’s insurance will pay. OUR insurance rates, as an entertainment company, will go up.

  • Rocky August 12, 2017, 4:16 pm

    We need another Dumb and Dumber movie, or maybe another Jackass movie, you know the kinds of movies that make doing really stupid things, things that can get you killed, supposedly hilariously funny! So that morons that have no common sense, and haven’t been taught any, that want to be the life of the party have to go out and try them. Seriously folks, if we need more laws in this country, maybe it should be laws regarding what should and shouldn’t be put in movies, rather than laws dictating that everyone has to take a class to light a sparkler. But, that’ll never happen, because liberals run Hollywood and they donate heavily to liberals’ election coffers, so they’ll get free reign to put whatever in movies, and everyone else will get laws to light sparklers.

  • loupgarous August 12, 2017, 2:31 pm

    As a parent of two young men, I can grieve for this man’s mother and also say, “Your son killed himself. At the age of 22, most people are already aware that explosives are NOT playthings that can be placed anywhere on the human body without death or severe injury ensuing. The State of Maine cannot legislate against stupidity, and should not pass laws encumbering other people’s freedom because one person abused that freedom in a way which would have been obvious to him had you educated him properly..”

  • Nick M August 11, 2017, 9:37 am

    Nature selected him for extinction.

  • bigK August 11, 2017, 6:26 am

    Right before “Hey everyone, watch this” he probably said “Dude, hold my beer”.

    And they said that you can’t fix stupid, well he showed us that yes you can.

  • DM June 28, 2017, 7:20 am

    There’s one born every minute, you can’t fix stupid. To his Mom I serious say I’m sorry about your son. However, in standard Democratic fashion they can’t admit their own stupidity and as a result it’s always someone else’s fault so let’s punish and blame an entire nation because one individual is a common alcoholic fool. Friends tried to discourage his actions but his lack of common sense and his self intoxicated mental state prevailed and those attending had to be traumatized by this event did commit shit.

    Let’s Surely not take into consideration what his ignorant actions did to those around him who had to witness such an ignorant thoughtless event, and I would not be surprised if there were children nearby who witnessed this thing. It’s too bad he didn’t survive so that he could be the one having to endure the training and The healing process for his actions. What an idiot, and the mother can’t even see what her send it to all the friends who are having a good time and enjoying themselves. I don’t think the mom is too smart either and obviously has the same mental deficiency that her son has.

  • Common Sense, Please May 8, 2017, 1:37 am

    Hey, Mom–your son was drunk. Maybe there should be stricter laws about drinking and being a young, stupid male?

  • Keith May 6, 2017, 8:53 am

    I can just picture the friends thatnwerenwatching this stunt: “He blowed up good. REEEAAL GOOOD! Huh, huh, huh.”

  • LJ March 10, 2017, 5:23 pm

    It’s a shame the young man lost his life, but there’s no excuse for stupidity!

  • Charles Darwin November 27, 2016, 5:18 pm

    I demand stricter parenting laws. We must hold those parents of reckless inbreds accountable for their actions.

  • JoshO November 4, 2016, 11:39 am

    Perhaps what we really need are tighter (or any) regulations on breeding. This story is a case for the Darwin Award, not more laws for the rest of us.

  • I like fireworks! November 4, 2016, 6:22 am

    This country has gone way over the edge with frivolous lawsuits and entitlement programs. This guy killed himself by acting foolishly. Now we all have to suffer because of it. If people do such things and cleanse the gene pool, perhaps we should encourage it.

  • Damion Ramirez September 12, 2016, 1:14 pm

    Why does everyone else have to suffer the repercussion of what some careless, irresponsible, reckless and probably drunk 22 year old idiot decided to do because he thought it would be a good idea!? I bet he really impress his friends when he launched that mortar firework from where his head used to be!!? That is obviously completely dangerous, apparently fatal and just plain stupid!!! Great idea dude, RIP.

    • TL B February 17, 2017, 5:30 pm

      Hay everyone watch this!
      Famous last words.

      Any bet he was one of those entitled snowflakes?

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