Father-Son Duo Charged After Fireworks Mishap Injures Partygoer and Damages Manville Neighborhood

South Brunswick, NJ — A fireworks mishap led to an explosion in Manville, severely injuring one person and causing damage throughout the neighborhood. This incident resulted from efforts by a South Brunswick man and his father to detonate a signal cannon during a local party. Authorities have since levied multiple charges against the duo.

Erich Kaiser, 28, and his father, Thomas Kaiser, 60, face charges including aggravated assault and illegal possession of an explosive device. The explosion took place on the evening of July 6, drawing immediate response from law enforcement and emergency services.

Local police, along with emergency technicians from Robert Wood Johnson Hospital, rushed to the scene around 8:15 p.m. They attended to a 34-year-old man from Bridgewater who suffered injuries to his lower torso due to the explosion. He received initial treatment on site before being airlifted to a trauma center in New Brunswick for specialized care.

The investigative team at the scene included Manville Police Detectives and technicians from the New Jersey State Police Bomb Squad. According to Deputy Chief Craig Jeremiah, the explosives were intended to emit a large boom and a smoke cloud but instead malfunction culminated in an explosion that sent shrapnel flying into nearby properties.

An attendee from a nearby gathering suffered abdominal injuries from the shrapnel, highlighting the unintended yet severe consequences of mishandling fireworks. The explosion not only endangered lives but also resulted in considerable property damage, affecting several homes and vehicles in the vicinity.

Both Erich and Thomas Kaiser have been released pending their first court appearance in Somerset County Superior Court. The specifics of their legal representation and their pleas remain unconfirmed at this time.

Manville Police have urged anyone with further information regarding the incident to come forward. This can be done anonymously through the Manville Police Tips Line or through the Stopit app, which ensures confidentiality.

As the investigation continues, authorities are likely to scrutinize the circumstances leading up to the event, including the acquisition and intended use of the signal cannon. This incident serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers associated with fireworks and explosives, particularly when used in populated areas or without proper handling expertise.