One deceased, one critically injured in explosion

On August 12, 2014 the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office along with Crawford County EMS, Baker Fire Department, Pittsburg Police and Pittsburg Fire responded to Jake’s Fireworks, 689 South US 69 Highway in reference to an explosion and fire.

At that time, there were two injured by an explosion and fire that occurred outside of the facility at a storage unit located on the grounds. The cause of the explosion and fire is still under investigation by Sheriff’s Office detectives, Pittsburg Police Detectives, the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office and ATF.

The two victims and their current status are:

Kenny L. Clark, 28 years of age of Pittsburg- Deceased.
Howard O. Harper, 42 years of age of Pittsburg- Critically injured.

According to statements, both Clark and Harper were working in and around the storage unit which housed fireworks when the explosion and fire occurred. Both were suffering from burns. Both victims were transported from the scene by helicopter. The helicopter transporting Kenny Clark had to make an emergency landing at Freeman Hospital in Joplin after Clark’s condition worsened. Kenny Clark was pronounced dead at the hospital. Harper was flown to Mercy Hospital in Springfield, MO hospital for treatment.
No other employees at Jake’s Fireworks were injured during the incident. The investigation is ongoing at this time.


***This statement was submitted from Jake’s:

Tuesday afternoon at approximately 2:58 PM CST there was an industrial accident at one of our former Jake’s Fireworks storage facilities in Pittsburg, Kan. Two employees were injured and air lifted to medical centers for treatment. We are appreciative of the prompt response by Crawford County Sheriff’s office along with Baker Township & Pittsburg Fire Departments

Safety is our number one priority and we are currently working with local fire and police on assessing the situation to learn specifically what occurred. All employees were accounted for and the area has been secured. Our main focus now is on our employees and families that were affected by the accident. We ask you to please keep the Jake’s Fireworks Family in your thoughts and prayers.

-Jake Marietta, Owner/CEO, Jake’s Fireworks