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Scottown fire should never be forgotten

It has been almost 16 years since the tragic Scottown fireworks stand fire killed nine people and injured several more. Those wounds will never fully heal for the families impacted that day.

Each year as the anniversary of the July 3 event approaches — a tragedy that helped change fireworks regulations in Ohio and across the country — we are painfully reminded of how dangerous fireworks can be.

The importance was magnified this week as Todd Hall, the individual who was accused of bringing a lighted cigarette into the store, appeared in court for a periodic mental reevaluation. Hall was deemed incompetent to stand trial in the case because of injuries he sustained in a childhood accident. He has remained in a mental health facility since it occurred.

This tragedy is one that we must not ever forget.

Fireworks stands will be popping up along roadsides across the Tri-State. Colorful displays will be featured at lots of local stores.

Parents must make sure always to supervise their children and instill the message that fireworks are not toys.

There is nothing we can do that will bring back those loved ones who were killed in this tragic fire.

But, we all have a responsibility to our communities to use fireworks safely and do everything in our power to make sure something like this never happens again.