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Man sentenced to jail for sparklers incident at Mascenic graduation party



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Hillsborough man has been found guilty of lighting the fireworks accident that injured nine people at a Mascenic graduation party in June, according to court documents.

Matthew Chamberland, 29, was sentenced to 30 days in jail and a $620 fine – both suspended completely for three years – after being found guilty of one count of reckless conduct at the Jaffrey District court on Tuesday. Restitution is to be determined.

Seven counts of reckless conduct and one count of possession of an infernal machine were dropped. 

Chamberland admitted to police in an interview following the accident that he placed 12 to 18 sparklers combustible side down in a Kahlua bottle, according to an affidavit filed by New Ipswich police officer David Myer on June 6.

Chamberland told police that he was showing his cousin/nephew a bottle-melting trick that he had done in the past. 

Chamberland placed the bottle just outside a fire, in between the fire and the people observing. When he lit the bottle, it exploded almost immediately. 

First responders were called to a Turnpike Road residence in New Ipswich around 10 p.m. on June 2, after receiving a report that several people had been injured after a glass bottle full of sparklers had exploded.

Numerous injuries were reported, including a 15-year-old female from New Ipswich who suffered a hand laceration, a 19-year-old male from Greenville who suffered a nose laceration, a 10-year-old male from New Ipswich who suffered a severe arm laceration and arterial bleeding, an 11-year-old female from Milford who suffered a leg laceration and other embedded shards of glass, a 27-year-old female from Hillsborough who suffered multiple minor facial lacerations, and a 22-year-old male who suffered a leg laceration. Chamberland reportedly suffered a leg laceration. 

In total, five were sent to the hospital. All five were released by 3 a.m. the next day, according to New Ipswich Fire Chief Meredith Lund. 

Police eventually made contact with the homeowner, who said that several people had come over for his son’s graduation party. Josh Pease, who was at the party but was not hurt, told the Ledger-Transcript in June that there were about 20 to 25 people in attendance. 

The homeowner told police that he was about to set off some fireworks in the far corner of his yard, when he heard a loud explosion and people screaming. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.