STOW, Mass. (WWLP) – A Boston man’s license to shoot fireworks was permanently revoked for improperly storing boxes and trash bags full of pyrotechnics in two vehicles back in 2022.
According to the Massachusetts Department of Fire Services, Frederick P. Barbetta violated two provisions of the Massachusetts Comprehensive Fire Safety Code after evidence was introduced at a hearing on October 11th.
It was discovered that Barbetta improperly kept fireworks on and around his property despite a requirement that they have to be stored securely in a fixed or portable storage magazine and that he kept these fireworks for personal use and not part of a properly permitted display.
Before the hearing, Barbetta had held a certificate of competency, which is the license to work as a fireworks shooter in Massachusetts, since 2009. To be able to earn a certificate of competency, a fireworks shooter has to be familiar with the provisions of the Fire Code and National Fire Protection Association standards on fireworks storage, transportation, and use.
State Fire Marshal Davine found that “there is substantial and credible evidence to warrant the permanent revocation” of Barbetta’s certificate of competency, which was noted in a written decision on October 18.
The Boston Fire Department’s Fire Investigation Unit and the Boston Police Department’s Bomb Squad found 58 boxes and two trash bags full of fireworks inside a van and a minivan parked in a residential section of Charlestown on November 17, 2022. The fireworks were in plain view inside the vehicles and had not been moved for weeks. These fireworks could have caused a fire or explosion that led to property damage, injury, or death.
The State Police Bomb Squad was called to take custody of the explosive devices, and the Boston Fire Department notified the Department of Fire Services’ Code Compliance & Enforcement Unit of the Fire Code violations. Based on several reports, photos, and other documentation that the Boston Fire Department provided to DFS, Barbetta’s hearing was set for June but continued until October by agreement with the Department of Fire Services.
On October 25, the State Fire Marshal’s office notified the state’s fire chiefs that the Fireworks Certificate of Competency #FW-004459 that was previously held by Barbetta had been permanently revoked and that he was prohibited from conducting any work regulated under that certificate.
If anyone is aware of regulated work being conducted under that certificate is asked to notify the DFS Code Compliance & Enforcement Unit at 978-567-3375.
In Massachusetts, individuals using fireworks must have a certificate of competency to work lawfully for professional fireworks displays. It is illegal for residents to use, possess, or sell fireworks of all kinds. This includes fireworks that are purchased legally elsewhere and brought into Massachusetts, sparklers, firecrackers, cherry bombs, and other fireworks. Fines range anywhere from $10 to $1,000, and some violations could have a one-year prison sentence.
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