Hopkinton Explosion Caused by Blow Torch Igniting Fireworks

One of the victims was arrested last week in Concord; both had criminal histories.

Hopkinton Police Cruiser. Credit: forums.officer.com
Hopkinton Police Cruiser. Credit: forums.officer.com

Investigators have released information about the death of two men during an explosion at a landscaping business in Hopkinton during the early morning hours of Oct. 8.

According the state medical examiner’s officer, Lucas Bourke, 21, of Allenstown and Ethan Keeler, 21, of Epsom, died after “attempting to gain entry into a closed metal container which contained consumer fireworks using an oxy-acetylene cutting torch when the blast occurred,” according to a press statement.

Officials were called to New Yard Landscaping Company for the explosion around 1:30 a.m. and discovered the fireworks and bodies of the two men. The men, according to investigators, did not have permission to be on the property.

The investigation into the explosion on Farrington Road in Hopkinton, just across the Concord line, is ongoing, according to investigators. 

According to Concord Police arrest reports, Keeler, who was 20 at the time, was arrested last week on a felony receiving stolen property charge.

The charge stemmed from an alleged incident on Nov. 1, 2012, at the Steeplegate Mall on Loudon Road, involving an iPod Classic 80G player with 4,000 songs on it valued at $4,360. Keeler was arrested by Epsom Police Department, which handed him off to a Concord officer. He was released on $5,000 personal recognizance bail and was due to be arraigned in court on Nov. 18.

Back in July, Keeler was arrested on a felony forgery charge and theft by deception. The charges stemmed from an alleged incident at the TD Bank on Sheep Davis Road on March 22, involving a check for $400. In that case, Epsom Police arrested Keeler and handed him of to police. He was arraigned on the charges on Aug. 26. 

On May 18, in Allenstown, Bourke was arrested and charged with unlawful possession of alcohol after police received a report of a suspicious person on Main Street, according to a police report. Bourke was arrested and released on personal recognizance bail. He was arraigned on June 10. 

Editor's Note: This story has been edited with the correct spelling of one of the victim's name which was submitted incorrectly. 

Scappy McShane October 11, 2013 at 01:42 PM
@ Joe W: The world would be a better place if criminals snuffed it while in the commission of their crime. It doesn't take much to be a positive member of society: don't hurt others, don't take their stuff. If someone can't live by those simple rules then society is better off without them. As I said before, their age is irrelevent- they were old enough to know better. I refuse to have any sympathy for two criminals who died while committing a crime.
Butch Joos October 11, 2013 at 02:23 PM
We live in a civilized society that has rules! If you wern't taught to live by them, then you can only hope that the law gets you before bad kharma does like these guys. Being a criminal is risky buisness! I hope St. Peter opened the trap door they were standing on when they got to the Perly Gates. Two less guys around to steal my stuff, that's all I care!!!
Concord Resident October 11, 2013 at 04:00 PM
Dumb and dumber
Ben M October 11, 2013 at 07:07 PM
These two guys were burgularizing a business, knowing they were committing a crime and trying to steal from someone else that worked hard for their survival. Unfortunately for these two guys they're actions resulted in their demise. I guess justice was served without any additional jail time burden to the taxpayers. My sympathy to their loved ones for their misjudgement.
Civic Minds October 13, 2013 at 02:06 AM
I must agree with many of the posts; these two got some real old school justice and they deserved it. Sure they weren't rapists, batterers, or murderers yet they made everybody else's lives miserable. Think of the BS we all have to go through to protect our hard earned property from these miscreants. Do you people who support these two criminals have things that you wish were not taken? Just because Lucas was kind to his own child doesn't make him a good person. Stealing from somebody so they can help somebody else, primarily themselves, is a deranged, perverse, deviant, and abnormal way of thinking. Steeling is not a trait that makes a good person.


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