Comanche Community Remembers Fireworks Accident Victim - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Comanche Community Remembers Fireworks Accident Victim



    Dr. Russell Reynolds was killed and four others were injured in a fireworks accident in Comanche Thursday morning. (Published Thursday, July 3, 2014)

    Inside the diner in Comanche's town square, Dr. Russell Reynolds is known to the folks who work and eat there.

    "I looked up to him since I was able to hit the t-ball off the t-ball stand," said waitress Courtney Caffey.

    He was a coach to kids, a well-known chiropractor and member of Kiwanis club. The group met at the diner every Tuesday.

    "He worked on my back, his daughter, Katie, was one of my very good friends, and always has been, and always will be. She came into eat and she'd talk to me like I'd just seen her yesterday. It breaks my heart," said Caffey, choking back tears.

    Thursday morning, Dr. Reynolds, along with other community members, were setting up the annual fireworks show by Comanche High School.

    Superintendent Rick Howard was in his office when he heard what first sounded like thunder. He soon discovered it was an accident.

    "Saw the plume of smoke coming from the school grounds, and jumped in the truck and raced over there," said Howard. "[I] found a couple of the injured men there with burns on their arms."

    According to firefighters, three men were hurt and Dr. Reynolds was killed setting up the 24th Annual Comanche fireworks show.

    The state fire marshal is investigating what sparked the explosion.

    "I can only imagine if this was my dad, it would break my heart, and my heart's breaking for them," said Caffey.

    Now, a community deals with heartbreak.

    The local paper's front page previewed the event, the paper printed hours before the tragedy.

    It was one of the events, very much anticipated by the small town.

    The show, which draws about 10,000 people a year, is now canceled.

    Instead, a vigil is planned at the high school stadium at 9:30 p.m. Friday.

    "Comanche has one of the largest fireworks shows in Texas. Well, we're not gonna have one this year. So we need support," said Caffey.