Wife Recalls Tragic Moments Before Husband’s Firework Accident

Allen McGrew passed away at the age of 41 (Facebook/ Allen McGrew)
Allen McGrew passed away at the age of 41 (Facebook/ Allen McGrew)

The wife of Allen Ray McGrew, who tragically died after placing a lit firework on his head during a Fourth of July celebration, has opened up about the moments leading to the fatal accident. Allen, 41, was enjoying the festivities with his family and celebrating his son Hunter’s engagement when the incident occurred.

Celebrating the Fourth of July

Paige McGrew, Allen’s wife, spoke to The Post and Courier about the night of the celebration. Allen, who was dressed in a stars and stripes Uncle Sam outfit, was in high spirits. “Allen loved this holiday. He was a patriot, he was proud of his son, and he was excited to have a new daughter-in-law. He was living his best life last night,” Paige shared.

Allen was not a regular drinker, and Paige mentioned that the party was intended to be his last night of drinking for a while. She described him as someone who worked hard and played hard, a genuine and good person who loved life.

The Fatal Mistake

At around 10:30 PM, Paige noticed Allen holding a firework over his top hat. Initially, she thought he was just showboating and would set it on the ground. However, to her horror, she realized he had already lit the firework. Despite her warnings, the firework erupted, causing Allen to collapse.

According to the Dorchester County Sheriff’s department, Allen was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:10 PM. The coroner reported that he died instantly from massive head injuries caused by the explosion.

The Risks of Fireworks

The tragic accident has highlighted the dangers associated with fireworks. Chelsea Burkett from Cal Fire’s Santa Clara Unit emphasized the importance of letting professionals handle fireworks. “It happens every year. We see it often and we strongly encourage residents to let the professionals do the show,” Burkett told NBC Bay Area.

Dr. Cliff Sheckter, Medical Director of the Regional Burn Center at Valley Medical Center, warned about the severe risks posed by both legal and illegal fireworks. “These are mortars, small pieces of dynamite. These can and will blow off your fingers and your hands. We see every year. Unfortunately, these types of injuries are not reparable in most circumstances and that obviously is life-altering,” Dr. Sheckter explained.


Allen Ray McGrew’s death is a somber reminder of the potential dangers of fireworks. As celebrations continue, authorities urge the public to prioritize safety and leave fireworks displays to professionals.

For those affected by bereavement and seeking support, The Compassionate Friends can be contacted at (877) 969-0010.

This tragic incident underscores the critical need for caution and safety during festive celebrations.

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