ROWLEY, MASS. (WHDH) - A Rowley man will appear in Newburyport District Court for possessing illegal fireworks after an explosion in his apartment last week.

There was no fire at the scene when firefighters and police arrived, but witnesses reported hearing an explosion and heavy smoke.

The investigation revealed the man accidentally ignited a 1.4G mortar shell inside his apartment. The man suffered minor injuries while attempting to extinguish the fuse before it exploded and damaged the floors and walls of two rooms, causing smoke to fill the apartment and setting off smoke detectors. The State Police Bomb Squad seized additional live shells from the man’s home.

“Illegal fireworks in a residential setting can be a recipe for disaster,” said Rowley Fire Chief James Broderick. “The residents of this building are fortunate that these illegal items didn’t cause more damage. Please don’t risk injury, fire, or worse. Leave fireworks to the professionals.”

For a list of permitted fireworks displays in Massachusetts, visit the Department of Fire Services’ website.

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