LEWISTON — Police say the Lewiston man who died during a fireworks accident Sunday got the commercial-grade shell from someone else’s out-of-state home or storage locker that he’d cleaned out months ago. 

No one is expected to face charges, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland.

Timothy Whitney Sr., 57, died Sunday after he lit a commercial-type shell that was set in a concrete cinder block at his son’s home in Sabattus. The cinder block exploded and several pieces hit Whitney, who was standing 15 feet away.

He died shortly after arriving at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

People who use commercial-grade fireworks in Maine are required to have state and federal licenses and must undergo extensive training to get those licenses. Whitney had no such license, McCausland said.

He said it was unclear why Whitney chose to light the explosive Sunday after holding onto it for months.

McCausland also said it was unclear whether Whitney knew the shell was professional-grade rather than one designed for the general public. Commercial fireworks are more powerful than those sold in stores.

Authorities believe Whitney had only one shell. It was the only explosive he set off Sunday.

Fire investigators will continue to follow up, McCausland said.

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A Lewiston man is dead after a fireworks shell he lit exploded Sunday in Sabattus, fire investigators say. The shell was in a PVC pipe propped up by a cinder block.


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