Published On: Mon, Aug 24th, 2015

Disney’s ‘Gaston’ Devon Staples, dead after launching firework off of his head

A Florida man celebrating the Fourth of July in Maine with family, died when he tried to launch a firework off the top of his head, Maine State Police say.

Devon Staples, 22, of Calais had been setting off fireworks with friends on Saturday night in the backyard of a friend’s home, according to Stephen McCausland, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

He says Staples placed a fireworks mortar tube on his head and set it off, injuring his head. He died instantly. Officials also confirmed that drinking was indeed involved.

UPDATE: Devon’s brother, Cody, who was drinking with his brother at the time of the incident, says his brother held the lighter too close to the firework and accidentally set if off.

“I was the first one who got there. There was no rushing him to the hospital. There was no Devon left when I got there,” Cody Staples said to New York Daily News. “It was a freak accident … But Devon was not the kind of person who would do something stupid. He was the kind of person who would pretend to do something stupid to make people laugh.”

Devon Staples lived in Orlando, Florida, working at Disney World as a character for guests to meet with as well as other acting roles in the park. See a photo of Devon as Gaston from Beauty and the Beast below.

“He loved it. He loved making people happy,” Cody Staples said. “Anyone who would want to give a tribute to Devon should go out and do something nice for someone. Show some love to someone you don’t know. That kid was all about showing people love.”

McCausland says Staples’ death marks Maine’s first fireworks fatality since the state legalized fireworks several years ago.

Devon Staples as Gaston

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

Displaying 66 Comments
Have Your Say
  1. Ben J. says:

    Serves him right.
    Hope his parents are proud of where he ended up.
    Latest entry in the Darwin Award book goes to…

  2. ring king says:

    Didn’t another disney movie villan die like that? As in the one in Mulan?

    Still, jesus, this is depressing

  3. Mr. Xie says:

    It is a shame that a young person, whilst in an attempt to humour his friends, has passed in such away. I see many here are rushing to proclaim a “Darwin-Award” for his mistake, but fail to see how insensitive such a comment is. To them, his inglorious demise is nothing more than a pretense as to pretend superiority. How many of them have never taken an action, in some hasty moment of bravado, that increased their own proneness to harm? Regardless, as a member of the human rank, it is unfitting for one to speak of the deceased in such condescending terms; especially considering that this was a boy of apparent good manner and intent.

    • Eli says:

      To be fair, if he was the kind of guy that liked to make people laugh by launching fireworks off his head, he was probably the kind of guy that would find the humor in a darwin award for it.

  4. Jackson says:

    It is a shame that a young person, whilst in an attempt to humour his friends, has passed in such away. I see many here are rushing to proclaim a “Darwin-Award” for his mistake, but fail to see how insensitive such a comment is. To them, his inglorious demise is nothing more than a pretense as to pretend superiority. How many of them have never taken an action, in some hasty moment of bravado, that increased their own proneness to harm? Regardless, as a member of the human rank, it is unfitting for one to speak of the deceased in such condescending terms; especially considering that this was a boy of apparent good manner and intent.

  5. Your Name... says:

    That’s using your head!! Also to Tina how can god hear typed text? That just doesn’t make sense. And telling others they are of the devil is not very holy or godly. Actually it sounds very hateful and of the devil. Are you the devil Tina?

  6. Somerandomguy says:

    That went to Nazis pretty quick.

  7. MEMoore says:

    One of my fondest memories from last year’s visit to Disney was a push up contest between Gaston and a visitor. Devon blew the guy away in a most humorous and entertaining fashion. My condolences to his friends and family.

  8. Tina says:

    If anyone posted anything that was rude , hurtful or plain out cold you are not of God and if your not of God you are of the devil and you can trust The Lord will deal with you for he hears every word you utter and you will be judged The Bible says love your neighbor as yourself this evil you speak is not love !! Love is what We show when someone has passed and I give my sincere condolences to the family and friends of this young man I pray comfort and peace for you all heaven is real and you will be with him let that bring you comfort again GO to Jesus in your pain he is The Great Comforter !!

    • Your Name... says:

      Please, go with your God . And leave us out of it , find a church to preach at. Get the FLOCK off the internet .. It’s the Devils road to hell !!!

      • Ray says:

        Very bold, “Name less” atheist, to attack the Christian for being kind and thoughtful of the family. You are so ANTI-religious that you can’t stop yourself from insulting someone who is thinking of the family in the middle of this crisis.

        Way to show the world how kind and moral the atheists truly can be, hope you’re the minority!

        • Uncle Fill says:

          No person wants to hear a middle aged woman spit incoherent ramblings about fire and brimstone. Keep your stupid fairy tales to yourself, and console the family in a way that can actually help. What if Devon wasn’t christian? You are all so far up your own asses that you don’t realize that people exist and believe in things outside of your ridiculous Jesus bubble. How about you and your christian buddies go back to actively impeding scientific and social progress and stop trying to spread your stupidity.

          A Rational Person.

          P.S. Hail Satan

          • V. Rodriguez says:

            Well, that was ignorant. I agree her wording needs work as I am a Christian, feel sorry for the loss to that family, but still believe you need to call out stupid where it exists to be able to correct it. That does NOT make me of the Devil. However, you keep referring to the Jesus bubble and calling it a fairy tale, then telling “us” to go back to impeding science. I would remind you that some of the greatest scientists, you know, the ones that wrote the vast majority of rules for science, were Christians. They were seeking to learn and gain a deeper understanding of God’s handiwork. If any fairy tale exists, it is “modern-day” science, constantly changing to suit the whim of whoever has the deepest pockets. So do “us” a favor and go back to YOUR fairy tale. All will be happier. 🙂

    • Lucifer says:

      Tina, thanks for the heads up about hell. I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for this judgmental creator deity you worship. Seems like a real reasonable dude.

    • Your Name... says:

      How can god hear typed words?

    • Your Name... says:

      Tina, don’t let the haters and unbelievers faze you. As Jesus prayed to our Father while being crucified “Father forgive them, they know not what they do. Some people know not what or who they speak of. How can God read text. God knows every thought before you think it, a text is a thought first but he sees all so text are not a problem for him. He also looks at your heart, not outward appearances so he pretty much knows you from the inside out. Any minister, Christian or person who thinks they are fooling God by their outward behavior is wrong . God sees your heart. Tina, you keep posting. You have freedom of speech and religion and best of all Jesus as your savior and God as your Father.

  9. mumbojoe says:

    Wow. All this talk of ‘Darwinism’. You guys have no idea how evolution works do you? Evolution isn’t working towards better, more intelligent beings, it’s just creating organisms more suited to their environment. There’s no longer any selective pressure for intelligence today. Stupid people manage just fine with the facilities afforded to them by modern day society. In fact IQ has been slowly declining over the past decade.

    Next time you try to be a smart-ass at least be correct, you moron.

    RIP man

  10. joe blow says:

    Wow there are some truly ugly people in the comment section. All this talk of ‘darwinisim’ is just retarded. You really have no idea how evolution works do you? Evolution isn’t making us smarter it simply makes us more suited towards our environment. Stupid people manage just fine with all the facilities that are provided for them in today’s society. There is no selective pressure for intelligence any more and in fact IQ has been slowly falling this past decade.

    So the next time you try to be a smart-ass at least be right you moron.

    RIP man

    • Jaws285 says:

      Please be advised that using the word “retarded” makes you part of this ugly you speak of. Hypocrite.

  11. Merelyashadow says:

    I’m so glad he’d never do anything stupid. (Wanna bet?)

  12. Anonymous says:

    This sucks. The videos I’ve seen of this guy were always great.

  13. Ex-Oligarch says:

    “Cody Staples, his brother, was drinking with his brother when he held a lighter too close while holding the firework on his head and accidentally set if off.”

    1. Was this sentence written by a drunk person?
    2. However deeply one may regret the outcome, intentionally holding an open flame near the fuse for an explosive is not “accidental.”

    • Tibs says:

      Online publishers have no standards and editors are a thing of the past.

      Nowadays, it’s all about quick, quick, QUICK. Quality and accuracy be damned.

      • dumb says:

        Are you both retarded? His brother said he was pretending like he was going to do it to be funny, but held the lighter too close. You’ve never heard of a psych out? I bet you guys are just the life of the party.

  14. Darwin says:

    Dies like Gaston
    Catcher fire like Gaston
    Starts his very own funeral pyre like Gaston!

    • Bryant says:


    • Beth says:

      I… I want to say this is awful because in the end a man is dead no matter what the circumstance.. but….. well done, that worked perfectly.

    • Stu Pidasso says:

      You are my new favorite person. If this poor kid was half as decent as the story makes him out to be, he is laughing at this from the grave as well.

      Poor bastard, he was a young, fit, good looking guy that certainly didn’t deserve this regardless of how stupidly he was acting. If you have ever been drunk, you have done SOMETHING stupid, which is why marijuana will eventually be legal nationwide. To give kids like this an alternative to impairing judgement to this point. No stoner would ever attempt this, they were the ones sitting on the grass holding their lighters close to their bongs while this drunkard scarred the lives of many.

  15. King Arthur says:

    I never got to meet him but the videos I have seen of him from my friends were great. Many of the commenters are being very rude and completely out of line. It stated that he was not setting the firework of on purpose and it was an accident. He wasn’t stupid like you all keep saying. It was a tragic accident and he doesn’t deserve so much rudeness about his death.

    • John says:

      Except he was stupid in the sense that there are 2 safety rules

      1) Operate in a clear area

      • A says:

        Don’t forget the alcohol, which is probably why he didn’t realize how close the lighter actually was.

  16. Unknown says:

    For those of you who are being pricks, maybe you should attempt to gain some intelligence before speaking. Jah had a reason for taking him, whatever it may be, we can’t say. Devon was a great guy and nothing can change what he did, but those of us who knew him (seven years in my case) will miss him greatly. Love you brother. Your road to Zion has ended now. Rest well.

    • Your Name... says:

      intelligence has nothing to do with what people may say about him, but it could have had a lot to do with getting drunk and playing with explosives. I understand that you may be personally affected, but let’s put things in perspective. And maybe if you don’t like people judging this young man, maybe you shouldn’t go around calling people stupid.

    • Your Name... says:

      The reason he took this one is because he taught millions what not to do this year. Not one family changed millions did. Stop pretending to act out of line possibly. Letting us know it could lead to bad influence ect. Or simply we take lightly the true potential of our fireworks. Either way his message was far greater reached the this man than any other. Your right his one will save hundreds of thousands hopefully.

    • Anonymous says:

      youre an idiot. God didnt take him. His stupidity allowed him to die

  17. Josh M says:

    It’s ironic that such a nice person had a job being one of the bigger jerks in a Disney movie. My condolences to his family.

  18. Patrick says:

    Sigh. And he was such a cool dude.

  19. John says:


  20. Debi says:

    I can not believe some of you are making a joke of this. What if his family is reading this. Some of you are rude and insensitive.
    This was a horrible, tragic accident. I met this particular Gaston and he played the part from his heart. He was a laugh.
    My thoughts and prayers are with his family & friends. RIP Devon!!

  21. Lenny says:


  22. Stephen J. Desrosiers says:

    And the Darwin Award winner goes to………..

  23. Nicky Davis says:

    I’ve thought about it, carefully, Sam.
    After careful thought and contemplation, I’ve concluded this comment; Dumb Sum’Bit’
    He had a gift of 22 years.
    I hope he enjoyed them.

  24. Iza says:

    Damm, I wanted to be the first to do this

  25. fire works off your head says:

    Ban stupid people not fireworks

  26. Veronica Lodge says:

    Social Darwinism is at work. Our species is better off for this event.

    • Sam says:

      wow. just wow.
      no compassion whatsoever. Hopefully you don’t make or poke fun at those that have down syndrome or are legally mentally retarded. ..this is an example of why not to make fun of those that are “stupid” – it’s because They. Are. Stupid. ..and stupid do stupid things, such as, make non compassion remarks without fully thinking about it first.

      • Sam? says:

        Sam their where no remarks that stupid has anything to do with the mentally challenged. Stupid is people like you who don’t think of other people’s perceptions on the situation. Please stop trying to be the “bigger guy” because all your doing is the opposite you’re treating negative responses with actions fueling the fire.

      • Your Name... says:

        He’s right though

      • Matt says:

        It’s called “Survival of the Fittest.”
        Fittest, both physically, and mentally. Only the strong and smart should survive. This was just nature doing it’s job.

        • tom says:

          survival of the fittiest? we live in a civilized society…rule of law gaurantees everyone born gets to live their life out to its completion. Do you push your way in front of everyone on the line that you can beat up until you reach someone bigger and bader than you? If you do then you deserve to spend your life in prison. Your an idiot matt and a closet nazi

          • me says:

            *you’re and idiot.

          • Barney says:

            Rule of law does NOT guarantee “everyone born gets to live their life out to completion”.

            Rule of law only guarantees that if someone does you harm, they will be judged. There are no guarantees. This is completely off subject here. What they are saying is correct. The (mentally) weaker, the (mentally) disadvantaged can and sometimes will remove themselves prematurely from the gene pool. This is what has occurred here. Any idiot that deems placing an explosive device remotely close to their body while placing said explosive device into it’s active state, deserves whatever horrible thing that befalls them. Not saying that it is not tragic, solely stating that doing something that is so terribly stupid and dangerous may bring about an unlikely, but completely plausible, end to your well being. This young man found that end.

          • Brandon Jones says:

            Very well stated. Booze and explosives are never a good mix.

        • Jen says:

          I don’t usually share articles, but something about this sets me off. I lived close to that area, so it hits home for me.

          I’ve seen so many incorrect comments about “Darwinism” and “survival of the fittest”. First off, Darwinism has everything to do about biology and natural selection and genetics in reference to an animal species. Winner of the DARWIN AWARD, maybe. But he was a young DRUNK kid and this was a terrible accident/lapse in judgement. Nothing to do with genetics. So stop using the term ‘Darwinism’. Second of all… Survival of the fittest? He was at his physical pique (unlike most of the other rude commenters who troll these articles and think we care about their ignorant opinions). He actually had a job (again unlike a lot of the commenters to these articles). He had friends. So Survival of the Fittest has nothing to do with this. His family has to live with these ignorant comments being forever posted to the Internet, and even worse his brother and friends will live with the constant nightmare of those final moments.

          Stupid? Yes. But a tragedy just the same.

    • Dee Souther says:

      Well then, if that’s the opinion you have that’s all fine and dandy.
      I hope that if you ever meet a tragic fate, maybe you’re running late for an appointment and don’t check traffic as you cross the street, that you’ll be able to rest assured during your final moments as you lay bleeding on the ground that the human race was made better as a whole by your death. One less poor sap contaminating the gene pool with their own stupidity which is quite obviously a product of their flawed DNA and not modern American society!

    • Maditox says:

      i believe social Darwinism is when we as a collective species excommunicate your incompasionate ass for being such a pretentious slimeball

    • Carl says:

      Do you happen to own a copy of Mein Kampf? Or are Neo Nazis into other stuff these days?

    • Marco says:


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