Patriotic Dad’s Fourth of July Celebration Ends in Tragedy After ‘Showboating’ Goes Horribly Wrong

A 41-year-old South Carolina man who loved to celebrate the Fourth of July died Thursday after a firework exploded on top of his head.

Allen Ray McGrew of Summerville was in the midst of a block party when the incident took place, according to the Post and Courier.

A police report said during the party, at about 10:30 p.m., Paige McGrew saw her husband put a firework on the red, white and blue top hat he was wearing, “which she believes was done to show off.”

“She was trying to tell Allen not to do that when the firework went off and she observed Allen collapse,” the report said, according to USA Today. He died instantly.

The video below shows McGrew before the tragic incident.


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“He was holding this firework over his top hat. I thought he was just showboating before he set it on the ground. I didn’t realize he had already lit it,” she said, according to the Post and Courier.

Paige McGrew said he husband always went all-out to show his patriotism on the Fourth of July.

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“Allen loved this holiday,” she said. “He was a patriot; he was proud of his son and he was excited to have a new daughter-in-law. He was living his best life last night.”

She recalled a recent visit of her husband to her office to show off the red, white and blue outfit he bought for this year’s celebration.

“I was on the phone with a client and I just lost it, I was laughing so hard. I had to tell her what was going on. The client said, ‘Oh, I have to see this,’ so Allen came around in front of the camera to show off his costume. That was Allen. He was a genuine, good person and he loved life. He worked hard and he played hard,” she said.

Paige McGrew made it clear her husband was not a big drinker.

“Everyone was drinking a little last night, but he didn’t drink regularly,” she said the day after the tragedy.


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“He loved this country and looked forward to celebrating every year,” Paige McGrew told the New York Post.

“Just before the incident happened, he hugged me and his son and said, ‘You are my rock, and you are my heart.’ Me being his rock and his son being his heart,” she said.

Neighbors and Paige McGrew told the Post and Courier that Allen McGrew would mow lawns for his neighbors.

“He was the nicest guy. He was the kind of guy you want for a neighbor,” one neighbor told the outlet.

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