LAUDERHILL, Fla. – A 13-year-old boy in Broward County suffered injuries to his face and right hand early Wednesday morning in an accident involving fireworks, first responders said.
According to Lauderhill Fire Rescue officials, the accident occurred around 1 a.m. in the 3200 block of Northwest 12th Place.
Officials said the boy was transported to Broward Health Medical Center with a partial amputation of all fingers on his right hand and burns to his face and chest, as well cuts to his head from the explosion.
First responders initially said that it appeared that the boy was trying to light mortar-type fireworks when the accident occurred, however the boy’s grandmother told Local 10 News that the family was cleaning up at the end of the night and picking up the spent fireworks when it happened.
She said her grandson thought the firework was “done,” but when he picked it up, it exploded in his hands.
“So it wasn’t that he was given permission to light them, but they just heard it, saw him go to the ground and they started to treat (him),” Lauderhill Fire Rescue Inspector Sheniqua Johnson said.
Johnson said the family wrapped the boy’s hand in a T-shirt as they waited for paramedics to arrive.
“It was, honestly, a terrible accident -- like, it was a faulty firework,” the victim’s cousin, Jakara Williams, said. “He didn’t light anything ... He picked it up -- I watched it happen, which is why I made the call.”
The boy has since undergone surgery. While officials acknowledged that not all fireworks injuries may be fatal, they can still be life-changing and stressed the importance of fireworks safety.
“This is someone whose life is going to be forever changed,” Fire Marshal Matthew Newman said. “They’re not going to have the same quality of life or same capabilities prior to doing this.”
“These are high grade, highly dangerous fireworks that we’d much rather prefer (you) leave these to the professionals,” Lauderhill Fire Rescue Assistant Chief Jerry Gonzalez said.