Man burned by fireworks at Elon game recovering

A fireworks display planned for USF’s first football game was canceled after some of the fireworks exploded in a man’s face.

Joseph Castonguay, 28, an employee of Bell’s Fireworks, suffered second and third degree burns to his face, chest and arms. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital and on Tuesday he was listed in good condition, said a representative of the hospital.

Castonguay is a chemistry student, according to USF’s WebMail database.

According to the Tampa Tribune, investigators cannot say what caused the explosion, which occurred around 7 p.m., as they have yet to interview the victim.

Castonguay is being housed in the hospital’s burn unit, and is recovering after a recent eye surgery, his father said over the phone. He was reluctant to elaborate due to the recent nature of the incident.

Castonguay was carrying a tray of mines and crossettes, which shoot sparks and flaming balls high into the air. When he set down the tray near the 40-yard line, six of the 10 devices exploded.

Christopher Freet, the Assistant Athletics Director for Communications, said the upcoming game against North Carolina was to use the same fireworks display, but the display was canceled. Freet was uncertain at press time whether USF money paid to Bell’s Fireworks will be reimbursed.

Freet also said USF employed Bell’s to set up fireworks for two games last season without incident.

Castonguay has declined to speak with reporters.

Opinion Editor Victoria Bekiempis contributed to this report.

Dan Catlin can be reached at (813) 974-6299 or