Arlington Heights police were notified about 10:55 PM Friday of a report of an aerial fireworks explosion near Campbell Street and Vail Avenue Arlington Heights, IL. Police received a report that an aerial fireworks shell was launched from a point south of Wing Street and west of Campbell Street. The shell was either launched from street level near Campbell Street, the Vail Avenue parking garage (22 South Vail Ave), or a balcony from a Condo on west Campbell Street.
A witness inside Jewel-Osco at 122 North Vail Avenue said the outside flash was highly visible and the noise was very loud from inside the Jewel-Osco store.
The device was either a Category 3 or Category 4 aerial firework device, and detonated over the Village Green condominium (44 North Vail Avenue) or south of it. It was mostly likely a Category 4 device. It was NOT a bottle rocket.
Category 3 – display fireworks; must be safely viewable from 25 meters and must not scatter debris beyond 50 meters.
Category 4 – professional fireworks; a person must have adequate insurance and storage to purchase and use these fireworks. Insurance can only be obtained once they have a knowledge of the safe use and storage of Category 4 fireworks. There is no such thing as a “license” to buy or use Category 4 fireworks.
The action was a dangerous act in a highly populated area in downtown Arlington Heights. Aerial fireworks are known to cause serious injuries even to pyrotechnics professionals.
Aerial fireworks are designed to be shot from a secure mortar (tube), and serious injuries or fatalities can result if the operator fails to use a properly secured mortar, or even when commercial mortars or shells malfunction. If the mortar tube failed horizontally, the shell could have been launched into a crowd or a nearby balcony, door or window, street or parking lot.
Amateur operators and spectators have suffered decapitation, fatal blast injuries, amputations, serious eye injuries, third degree burns and bone fractures from failed aerial fireworks launches. Injuries occur from direct hits by the projectile shell, blasts from the shell explosion, and burns from scattered debris from the explosion. Blast injuries from nearby explosions, if close enough, can destroy internal organs.
Last year a professional launcher was seriously injured at the Rolling Green Country Club Independence Day fireworks display.
The crime near Vail Avenue and Campbell Street is reported to have occurred about 10:50 p.m. Friday.
[WARNING SOME GRAPHIC LANGUAGE] Aerial fireworks shell launched by unknown offender(s) in downtown Arlington Heights Friday night May 5, 2017 was very similar to the aerial fireworks shell in this video.
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