ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE) – It’s been nine days since a powerful explosion shook the Roswell community critically injuring two veteran firefighters Jeff Stroble and Hoby Bonham. A crew of 12 firefighters were boxing up fireworks last week for the city’s annual display when the explosion happened inside a building at the airport.
Friday, the city announced that it’s canceling this year’s Fourth of July fireworks show out of respect for Stroble, Bonham and their families. “The fact that it’s canceled this year, I’m okay with that,” said Roswell resident Beau Perez.
The city’s announcement went on to say no firefighter or other city workers will handle fireworks this year. “Best case scenario is they both come back and they walk back through the front doors of the fire station and come back to work, they come back to their families, serving their community too.”
According to the city, it’s also considering whether to stop using fireworks altogether in the future. “I really appreciate their sensitivity to how people feel about it and we can come back to this next year,” said Perez.
The city says it’s considering switching to something like a laser light show in upcoming years. The remaining activities planned for that day including a concert and activities for children will go on.
At last check, both firefighters are still recovering. Investigators are still working to determine what caused the explosion.