Barge catches fire during Middletown fireworks show, no injuries reported

MIDDLETOWN — The Middletown fireworks festival display ended a little early Saturday night, after the barge where the fireworks were being launched caught fire.

Firefighters have a theory on how the barge where the Middletown fireworks were launched from caught fire Saturday night.

Middletown Mayor Daniel Drew says three dud fireworks shells went up and then opened lower than they usually do.

The firework then landed back on the barge before it was able to die out and lighted the plastic tubing that holds the firework shells that didn’t go off yet on fire.

Firefighters couldn’t start working on putting the fire out until all of the fireworks went off to avoid an explosion.

Daniel Drew, Mayor of Middletown said, “They detonated every shell they were able to detonate. That’s when we moved the fireboats in. The fireboats still were kept back at a healthy distance, basically as far as they could be while still extinguishing the fire.”

Once fireboats were able to start working on the fire, it was out in 10 to 15 minutes.

There were no injuries.

The barge was towed back into the bulk head by a tug boat overnight.

Middletown Mayor Dan Drew sent released this statement on Twitter:

“Thanks to everyone who came out for the fireworks. Great crowd, beautiful night, and wonderful entertainment. We had an unexpected fire on the barge, which grew pretty big. We don`t yet know the cause but the fire marshall will be looking into it. Everyone is safe, thankfully!”