Cindy Whitfield was reading in bed Wednesday night when her son T.J. walked into her room and asked her, “Mom, do you hear that?”
As the pair walked outside at around 9:45 p.m. to the street of their Dunes West neighborhood, others also started to make their way outside their homes while loud explosive sounds rang through the community.
“People were scared, standing there murmuring,” she said.
Police and fire departments and 911 received some calls. The sound was coming from fireworks shot from Boone Hall Plantation. Some in earshot distance were upset about the disturbance.
Boone Hall posted a statement on its Facebook page Thursday apologizing for the “unanticipated” level of noise.
A private event hosted by an outside business was held on the grounds. At the end of the event a fireworks show was put on for the company who hosted the event, which was not identified by them.
State fire marshal records show Charleston Place Hotel organized the fireworks show. They did it for a group of clients of their catering company, said Paul Stracey, the managing director of the hotel.
“We’re sorry we worried any neighbors. We did everything we were supposed to do,” he said.
Boone Hall officials said the fireworks display was in compliance with county permits and followed fire and safety regulations and that nearby homeowner associations were notified.
“However, the level of noise generated by this show (was) very loud, disturbing, and upsetting to the residents who live in surrounding areas near Boone Hall,” stated the apology. “We sincerely apologize ... and please be assured that we will do everything we can to make sure for any future events which are hosted at Boone Hall that disturbing noise of this level does not take place anymore.”
Within an hour of the posting, a few dozen people commented about the apology. Some echoed Whitfield’s concerns and referenced recent events nationwide that have some on edge, such as the Boston Marathon bombing.
“Under the circumstances, in the shape of this country, we had a legal patriotic right to be worried. All we wanted to know is what is going on,” Whitfield said.
Mount Pleasant Fire Department’s Fire Marshal Dale Johnston said they didn’t know what the noise was either. That’s because Boone Hall is not in the jurisdiction of Mount Pleasant, instead it lies in Charleston County.
Under state law, if a pyrotechnic company wants to shoot fireworks, they are required to file an application with the state Fire Marshal’s Office and include information like what they intent to shoot, where and how.
Some in Mount Pleasant said they don’t understand what the issue is. Darby Nolan of Mount Pleasant was driving along U.S. Highway 17 during the fireworks display and said that many cars pulled off to the side of the road to watch and enjoy the fireworks.
“The neighbors can suck it up for a few minutes,” Nolan posted on Facebook addressing Boone Hall. “My parents back up to the same creek as Boone Hall in Brickyard Plantation. They LOVE when ya’ll have fireworks!!! They go sit on their porch.”
Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or Twitter.com/ncaula.