Fire broke out around 2 pm in a 100-m² building rented to a pyrotechnician by a non-pyrotechnic company. The site manager and one of his friends (a 55-year-old retiree working on an occasional basis), who were both K4-certified pyrotechnicians, were preparing a fireworks show. They were using, among other things, pieces that had not been launched during previous shows. Due to poor handling, an igniter caught on fire; the blaze then quickly spread to all fireworks contained in the unit (approx. 25 kg), and then to the building. The premises were not equipped with a fire extinguisher; the only extinguisher present was located in a distant office.
The retiree, who was not wearing any protective gear, was burned to 2nd and 3rd degrees over 30% of his body. He had to be evacuated by helicopter to a hospital with a burn unit.
Fire-fighters established a safety perimeter and had the fire extinguished by around 4 pm; 30 m² of premises and the roof were destroyed.
The manager forwarded 2 hypotheses: the victim had walked on an igniter that was not fitted with its protective envelope and/or he had cut the fuse connected to a candle too short, thus triggering its launch.
An investigation jointly conducted by the labour office and classified facilities inspectorate revealed that neither the employee nor the fireworks depot had been officially approved by authorities (lack of a technical certification, the operator failed to respond to the comments and observations issued the DRIRE Regional Office for Industrial Affairs regarding the permit application, which had been refused on the grounds of insufficient safety measures). The investigation highlighted not only the absence of risk evaluation, workplace safety report, protective devices, training, adopted safety guidelines, input/output log and onsite fire-fighting resources, but also the presence inside the depot of combustibles, electrical equipment and unpacked fireworks.