Fireworks explosion ruled accidental; victims identified
Senior pastor Bill Wilson of The Lord's Table church in Goldsboro said the four people who died in the Ocracoke Island fireworks explosion were Wayne County residents.Posted — Updated
A surviving worker, Holland's nephew, had burns on 20 percent of his body but was listed in fair condition Sunday at the North Carolina Jaycees Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill.
“I could not believe it, it was just about impossible to believe,” Charles Kirkland Sr. said.
Kirkland said his son, who went by "Kirk," had been unemployed and was looking for odd jobs.
“He took this job so he could try to make some money so he wouldn't have to depend on mom and daddy,” said Lynne Smith, Kirk's sister.
Holland was the church's building and maintenance supervisor. Wilson says he was like a son to him.
"I lost a brother not too long ago. I lost a sister. But when I lost Terry, it hurt even worse,” he said.
Wilson says Simmons had volunteered in the church's nursery.
“I've never dreaded coming to church here in 11 years. This Sunday, I told my wife as we drove to church, this was the first time in 11 years I dreaded going to church,” Wilson said.
"Everyone at Melrose South Pyrotechnics is grief-stricken over the loss of life and injuries sustained in this terrible tragedy," the company's statement read.
Meanwhile, a silent parade in tribute to the victims was held Sunday afternoon along the intended route of Saturday's Ocracoke Island parade.
The parade aimed to "honor the fireworks employees, along with the firefighters and community volunteers who responded to yesterday's tragedy," Tunnell said.
“If there is anything positive that can come from a tragedy like this, it is the reaction of our community, neighbors, emergency personnel, and local and state authorities who cooperated to provide the best care and maintain safety of the island yesterday,” Rudy Austin, president of the Ocracoke Civic and Business Association, said in a statement. “We were honored to have the opportunity to thank our local responders for their work and show our support and grief to the families of the victims.”