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GoFundMe started for pyrotechnician who was medflighted after North Andover fireworks accident

Wally Shaw was medflighted to an area hospital Sunday afternoon after the rack he was loading inadvertently ignited and he was seriously injured.

A GoFundMe has been organized for Walter “Wally” Shaw, a beloved Groton firefighter and licensed pyrotechnician who was seriously injured this weekend while setting up a fireworks display in North Andover.

The local firefighter, a member of Local 4879, also works as a pyrotechnician for Atlas PyroVision of Jaffrey, New Hampshire, and as a firefighter for the Harvard Fire Department. Additionally, he helps out his parents at their shop, Toreku Tractor & Equipment Inc. in Ayer.

A Townsend resident, Shaw grew up in Harvard and is described as “an incredibly hard-worker, family-oriented, selfless and kind,” as well as ” an adventure seeker, a cat lover, and an old soul,” according to the GoFundMe, which was organized by James Crocker.


Shaw was medflighted to an area hospital Sunday afternoon after the rack he was loading for the Fourth of July fireworks show in North Andover inadvertently ignited, according to the GoFundMe post.

After undergoing multiple surgeries and sustaining serious but nonlife-threatening injuries, Shaw is expected to endure a long and challenging recovery, during which he will be unable to work. He may also require additional surgeries.

His father, Tony Shaw, told The Eagle Tribune that Wally has been a master pyrotechnician for “at least 10 years” and has worked on major shows across the Greater Boston area.

“This was just a freak accident, from what I can tell,” Tony Shaw told the Tribune. “The fire marshal said everything was set up perfectly, and he had followed safety precautions. It was static electricity or some kind of freak thing that fired it off.”

“We are still unsure of all of the obstacles Wally will face, but we would like to ease any stress for a guy who would help anyone in need, without question at a moment’s notice,” Crocker wrote in the GoFundMe post. “All donations will directly support Wally’s recovery. Any contribution, however large or small, one time or recurring, is very much appreciated!”


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