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Elkhart man is dead after lighting firework

An Elkhart man is dead after lighting the last of his Independence Day fireworks.

Lexi Thacher, a neighbor of the victim, told us “my husband came in and was like the neighbors dead lying in the driveway.”

Neighbors say they were all shooting off fireworks the night before. But their neighbor, Jose Magallanes, brought more than they bargained for.

Laken Ramirez, another neighbor, said “he was shooting off giant fireworks and he man-made a thing to put it in.”

A make shift firework holder that they didn't want in their yard or around their family.

Thacher described the device as “a plain piece of cardboard with a tube on top. You put the firework in the tube and he would hold the cardboard on the edge and hold it up like this and shoot it upwards.”

So they asked him to stop. And he complied. But this morning the neighborhood woke up to the loud band of a firework explosion.

Ramirez said, “we just thought oh he's shooting off his last firework.”

By 10 AM the street was a crime scene.

James Elliott, Chief Deputy Coroner for Elkhart County, told us “we were called out for a possible shooting.
But it's not a shooting it's a tragic fireworks incident.”

A tragic accident that neighbors say they tried to prevent the night before.

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