LEWISTON — Police say the Lewiston man who died during a fireworks accident Sunday got the commercial-grade shell from someone else’s out-of-state home or storage locker that he had cleaned out months ago.

No one is expected to face charges, according to Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland.

Timothy Whitney Sr., 57, died Sunday after he lit a commercial-type shell that was set in a concrete cinder block at his son’s home in Sabattus. The cinder block exploded and several pieces hit Whitney, who was standing 15 feet away.

He died shortly after arriving at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

People who use commercial-grade fireworks in Maine are required to have state and federal licenses and must undergo extensive training to get those licenses. Whitney had no such license, according to McCausland.

McCausland said it’s unclear why Whitney chose to light the fireworks Sunday after holding on to it for months.

He also said it’s unclear whether Whitney knew the shell was professional-grade rather than one designed for the general public. Commercial fireworks are more powerful than those sold to consumers in stores.

Authorities believe Whitney had just the one shell. It was the only firework he set off Sunday.

Fire investigators will continue to follow up, McCausland said.

Lindsay Tice can be contacted at:

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