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Dad Dies After Placing Lit Firework on His Head During 4th of July Party

The family of a South Carolina man who died after a firework he placed on his head exploded said they’re “traumatized” by his death, as video emerged of the victim dancing in the hours before the grisly incident.

Allen Ray McGrew was caught on camera smoking a cigarette and doing a funny jig, decked out from head to toe in red, white and blue Uncle Sam suit, top hat and beard before the horrific accident in Summerville, about 35 minutes north of Charleston.

Mortars smoldered behind him as he silently flashed finger guns and kicked his feet.

Friends and loved ones watched and laughed as he celebrated his favorite holiday, the clip showed.

“He’s dancing to his own tune,” one person chuckled, and another remarked that the “big show” would be starting soon.

Later on, McGrew, a 41-year-old HVAC worker, put a large, lit firework on top of his stars-and-stripes hat.

“I thought he was just showboating before he set it on the ground,” his wife, Paige Morris McGrew, told the Post and Courier.

“I didn’t realize he had already lit it.”

The firework exploded and caused head injuries that likely killed McGrew immediately.

He was pronounced dead at the scene Thursday.

“We’re traumatized,” his son, Hunter McGrew, 20, told The Post Saturday.

The family, who has been bombarded and overwhelmed with attention following the devastating event, said any portrayal of McGrew as a “drunken fool” couldn’t be further from the truth.

The dad rarely drank but did that day as he celebrated not only Independence Day but his son’s recent engagement.

The proud pop had gone “all out” to commemorate welcoming a daughter-in-law into the family, his wife said.

“He loved this country and looked forward to celebrating every year,” Paige McGrew, 53, told The Post.

“Just before the incident happened, he hugged me and his son and said ‘You are my rock, and you are my heart,” she recalled.

“Me being his rock and his son being his heart.”

The couple married just last year after being together since at least 2017. Sweet photos on social media shared them donning matching “Mr.” and “Mrs.” T-shirts around the time of their April 2023 nuptials.

“He was a genuine, good person and he loved life,” Paige McGrew told the Post and Courier.

“He worked hard and he played hard.”

Neighbors remembered him as “the nicest guy” who would cut everyone’s lawn and was always willing to lend a helping hand.

At least four people were killed in firework accidents this year, according to reports, and many more were injured, including several on Long Island.

READ 21 COMMENTS
  • J Galt says:

    My deepest sympathies to any family or friends who might be reading this.

  • Willy Sprause says:

    My State doesn’t allow any exploding or otherwise entertaining firework. Everything now is just a spark fountain.
    This type of stuff is why.

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