Texas postman dies after 'setting off large firework on chest'

Officials are still waiting for the results of an autopsy on Justin Bartek

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The Independent US

A family in Texas is facing tragedy and confusion after a man died when he apparently set off a firework on his chest.

Officials in Colorado county said that Justin Bartek, 30, a postal worker and parent, died at Columbus Community Hospital on Tuesday. He had been taken there after an incident at a local fishing spot earlier in the day.

According to ABC 13, witnesses said that Mr Bartek placed a Medieval Knight firework, which is tube-shaped and reloadable, on his chest and set it off. Reports said it was unclear whether it had been Mr Bartek’s intention to do so.

“He just had an infectious spirit, whenever you met him you met a friend," his friend, Erica Jackson, told the KPRC news channel.

“He was the light of many people's lives and the world to the people that knew him, and he would give the world to any that asked.”

Reports said that Mr Bartek was well known in the small town of Columbus and that he had a three-year-old son. Officials are still waiting for the result of a post-mortem examination to determine the precise cause of death.

The incident follows the death of Devon Staples, who died in Maine on the Fourth of July when he launched a firework off his head. Friends said Mr Staples had died as the result of an accident.