The sheriff's office there responded to a call at a home in the Buckner area along County Road 41 Thursday for a fireworks accident.
When officers arrived, they found 17-year-old Justin Smith and 17-year-old Zackery Ellis with "severe injuries."
Both were taken to the hospital, but Smith was pronounced dead.
The Lafayette County Sheriff's office says teenagers at a home had apparently put together a sparkler bomb -- 300 sparklers taped together.
The goal was to put a bucket over it, but it exploded before that happened, according to Chief Deputy Pete Richardson.
Lafayette County, Arkansas resident Matt Nix lives near the Smith home. He says the teenager had a bright future.
"He had a lot going for him. He was athletic. he could do anything," Nix said.
Relatives declined to talk on-camera about the accident, with one relative describing it simply as "terrible."
The sheriff's office is sending out a reminder that tampering with fireworks can be fatal.
"Something like this is extremely dangerous. Not only is it dangerous, it's illegal. And can be fatal. It's something not to be taken lightly." Richardson said.
No word on the condition of Zackery Ellis as of Thursday evening.
The sheriff's office says fireworks shouldn't have been set off on July 4 in the area because Lafayette County is under a Burn Ban.