LEECHBURG, Pa. — The man who was injured in a fireworks accident in Armstrong County on Saturday night has been identified as Leechburg Police Chief Michael Diebold.
Diebold, 39, was injured during the Leechburg Volunteer Fire Department Carnival on Canal Street.
The Leechburg Volunteer Fire Department is located on the same street where the incident took place.
During the fireworks display at around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Diebold, who is licensed to set off fireworks, was lighting the mortars when one of the mortars exploded, striking him.
He was flown to UPMC Mercy Hospital’s trauma and burn unit and is now in stable condition.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing.
City officials gathered the community for a vigil held at 9:30 p.m. Sunday at the town's fire hall.
"I've always known him to be a good person, a hard worker and an officer who cares deeply and is committed to his community,” said Captain Steve Ignatz.
A fundraiser has been started for Diebold to help pay for his hospital expenses. Michelle Rak of Little Devils Imprints will be making T-shirts that say “We Stand By Ours" and "Team Diebold."
All of the profits go to the Diebold family.
"It's been overwhelming. We even got hundreds of orders and one from Germany today," said Tracy Schaeffer, from Little Devils Imprints.
There have been more than 300 orders for shirts so far with more coming in.
If you would like to purchase a shirt or donate click here.
Diebold's fiancee, Danielle, is thankful for the support. She wrote on her Facebook page," We love you all and can not thank you enough from the bottom of our hearts."
Earlier on Saturday, the two celebrated the christening of their 8-week-old son.
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