Man Burned in Fireworks Dies

William Calabrese, 20, of San Diego, died Sunday morning at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

A young man severely burned in a has died, officials said.

William Calabrese, 20, was pronounced dead at 8:10 a.m. Sunday at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, according to the Riverside County Coroner's office.

His aunt, Kristina Calabrese Stracke, informed Patch of her nephew's passing and Patch confirmed it with a coroner investigator.

"My nephew was the young man that was life-flighted from the fireworks explosion at Lake Elsinore Storm stadium," Calabrese wrote Patch in an email.

"Sadly, he passed away this morning at 8:10 a.m. as a result of the injuries he sustained from the accident.

"He was a wonderful young man with a bright future, studying at UC Santa Barbara. He died doing what he loved - working with fireworks."

According to Calabrese, her nephew graduated from La Jolla High School and was an Eagle Scout from La Jolla Troop 506.

He was on summer break, working a job with Fireworks America, his aunt told Patch.

"He was such a good young man and so full of life," Calabrese said.

The coroner's office confirmed that the young man lived in San Diego.

An examination of his remains will be conducted Tuesday, the coroner investigator said.

Condition reports on two others injured that night -- one of them a firefighter -- were unavailable Sunday afternoon.

To read more about the explosion, which is still under investigation, please click here.

LBV Collins September 03, 2012 at 12:24 AM
Very sad news. My sympathies to his family and friends.
Kristina September 03, 2012 at 01:58 AM
from his brother, Ron: It's a little short notice but for anyone that would like to come there will be a candle lightning at Pacific Beach Christian Church tonight at 8:45 in remembrance of Will. Its at the corner of Loring st and Dawes st.
Carrie September 03, 2012 at 03:29 AM
So heartbroken to hear this. My heart goes out to the friends and family of this amazing young man.
Susan Prituret September 03, 2012 at 04:34 AM
I was coming down Summerhil this evening and saw the lights shining so brightly from Storm Stadium and thought about this young man. Now I know each time I see those lights I will say a prayer for him. So sorry for your loss.
Kat September 03, 2012 at 05:31 AM
This happened during a blue moon. The next one will be 2015 and I will think of Willie and his family. And every blue moon thereafter. Prayers to all the family.
Reverend Smith September 03, 2012 at 06:03 AM
Hopefully, by fire investigators carefully studying this case, some rules and procedures for more safely manufacturing and transporting these entertaining but potentially devastating devices will be forthcoming. I think Riverside County has a great fire marshal and investigation section that has or will go over this event with "CSI" level of scrutiny to determining just what caused the initial ignition. My regards to what seems to have been a great and promising young man.
Unknown September 03, 2012 at 06:10 AM
I am so sorry for your loss. I have a brother who recently started doing this as a side job and I was so worried this was him. I am so sorry to hear of your nephews passing. R.I.P. young man.
Brenda September 03, 2012 at 06:12 AM
I agree Reverend, as it should be investigated. This has been a horrible tragedy for Willie, his family, friends and our town fold who would have been enjoying those fireworks. I am not sure they will ever be looked up on the same way again. May God bless you Willie and carry your loved ones through this process of pain and grieving. So sorry to the entire family, 2nd family, friends and everyone who knew this young man.
Lisa Greer Zuchowski September 03, 2012 at 08:16 AM
Sorry for your loss:(
Tumblingdie September 03, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Our heartfelt prayers and condolences during this tragic time...
Hope September 03, 2012 at 02:48 PM
Please let us know if there is anything we can do. Giving our well wishes is one thing, but how can we help, or what is needed for his family?
Veronica September 03, 2012 at 03:11 PM
Kristina, Willy was a VERY nice boy, he went to school with my daughter and work together in severla projects. I also had the opportunity to meet his parents, more Willy's mom who was always supporting him in all his school activities, I can't imagine what they're going through. Can you keep me updated on funeral arrangements and anything I could do fo the family please. My email is VSaltiel@yahho.com. Thank you, Veronica
temeculan September 03, 2012 at 05:04 PM
Condolences to this young man's family. I have to say that peoples fixation with and need for fireworks displays is uniquely American and probably useless. Pyrotechnics are often responsible for fires and injuries as we oooh and ahhhh. Do we really need it?
TVOR September 03, 2012 at 05:26 PM
RIP young man, and best of wishes to his family.
Kristina September 03, 2012 at 07:53 PM
For his Eagle scout project, Willie built a prayer garden at Pacific Beach Christian Church (corner of Loring St and Dawes St). If you find yourself in the area, please take a moment to stop and visit and let him know you are thinking of him...thank you all for your kind words of support.
Diane September 03, 2012 at 07:58 PM
I'm so sorry to hear this sad news. He sounds like a wonderful young man and touched many lives along his lifetime. My thoughts and prayers to his family, friends, and all who loved him. RIP
Tina Tyra September 03, 2012 at 08:51 PM
What a beautiful young man. I am so sorry that his life was cut short. Prayers and love to his family. Perhaps they will find a way to memorialize him so that his spirit and his memory will live on.
Constant Comment September 04, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Sincere condolences go out to this young mans family and friends. A young life cut short way too soon. So sorry for the untimely loss of your precious loved one.
Lisa Shirley September 04, 2012 at 04:23 AM
I work very close to where the accident happened. The explosion was the worst I ever heard. My co-workers and I knew something bad had happened. I was sad to read the news today about William. May he rest in peace. I will be praying for the family.
Surf Dad September 04, 2012 at 07:04 AM
So very sorry...may your family be filled with peace!
Kristina September 04, 2012 at 03:03 PM
http://www.lajollawaterpolo.com/w/index.cfm There is a funeral fund link on this page if anyone can donate, it is appreciated. Anything helps. Thank you.
Kristina September 04, 2012 at 04:03 PM
@Oralia: I truly hope you did not mean to be insensitive...please know we are a family in grief!
Rude, Cruel & Disrespectful September 04, 2012 at 04:16 PM
It's all about MS-13 - check us out....we are worldwide...
Teller of Truth September 04, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Thoughts and prayers go out to Mr. Calabreses' family at this time.
Richard Ostrand September 04, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Very tragic. Will pray for the family.
Pkmd September 05, 2012 at 03:51 AM
My thought and prayers are with this young man's family. I wish there was a way to help with the pain, but know there are a lot of people who will be thinking of this young man.
Kristina September 06, 2012 at 01:04 PM
For those of you who would like to attend the service's are on Saturday, 9/8/12 @ 3:00 p.m. at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, 7715 Draper Avenue, La Jolla, CA. Thank you.
Kristina September 06, 2012 at 01:04 PM
My apologies Oralia; thank you for your condolensces.
Gayle September 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM
There is also another memorial fund for willie at http://fundly.com/willy-calabrese-memorial-fund
Kristina September 15, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Thank you Gayle!


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