4-year-old girl killed when father lit sparkler-type fireworks inside metal tube: “We’re all shaken by it”

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CLINTONVILLE — Police are investigating the death of a four-year-old girl, believed to be a result of a fireworks accident.

Neighbors said they heard a loud blast around 10:30 p.m. Monday, July 10th on Hughes Street in Clintonville, and shortly thereafter, the sound of sirens.

First responders found the child, Alyssa Chmielewski, severely injured from her chest to her neck. The girl’s 42-year-old father told police he had configured a bunch of sparkler-type fireworks inside a metal tube.  Police say the girl was standing about 10 feet away from the firework.

“His goal was to make a shower of sparks, much like a lawn fountain or something of that nature — and stated that he had done this before with that type of success. When he did it this time, something changed drastically and it caused an explosion. The injuries were of the extent that death came rather quickly. It’s just very, very unfortunate. Everybody loses in a situation like this,” James Beggs, Clintonville police chief said.

“We’re all shaken by it. They’re good people. It’s not like they were careless in a stupid situation. It was hard. Hard to hear. Really sad. I can’t imagine what the dad is going through, especially, and the whole family. The siblings were there too when it happened,” Jackee Swenson, neighbor said.

Police said they’ll consult with the Waupaca County district attorney to decide whether charges will be filed.