Two New Hampshire men killed when torch set off fireworks blast

10/10/2013 10:08 AM

10/10/2013 10:15 AM

HOPKINTON, N.H. (AP) — Two New Hampshire men were using a torch to cut into a metal container holding fireworks when they set off a blast at a Hopkinton landscaping company, killing them both, fire officials said Wednesday.

State fire marshals said Lucas Burke of Allenstown and Ethan Keeler of Epsom set off the explosion early Tuesday morning. Both men were 21.

They say the pair was using an oxy-acetylene cutting torch to get into the container. Investigators said the two were not authorized to be on the property.

State fire marshals did not immediately return a call seeking comment on whether the men knew the container held fireworks.

Officials say the fireworks were consumer-grade, not commercial-grade.

Hopkinton firefighters were called to the scene by neighbors following the 1:30 a.m. explosion at the New Yard Landscaping company. The company has been in business for 24 years. New Yard Landscaping owner Thomas Komisarek did not immediately return calls seeking comment.

The explosion occurred in a detached workshop. The bodies of both men were found in the workshop after the blast.

Hopkinton Fire Chief Douglas Mumford says the investigation is ongoing.

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