15-year-old injures hand in fireworks accident, Officials stress safety with legal fireworks

Published: Jun. 19, 2017 at 8:23 PM CDT
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It took just over two weeks for the first serious injury from consumer fireworks in Davenport.

On Friday night, a 15-year-old injured his hand with a consumer grade firework, though Davenport Fire Chief Lynn Washburn didn't have details on what type of firework it was.

"This was a juvenile and he was taken, according to reports, to Peoria to have surgery on that hand," said Chief Washburn.

Family members tell TV-6 the boy was handed what he thought was a smoke bomb. He ended up losing his hand because of the accident.

An incident like this and the upcoming Fourth of July Holiday has Chief Washburn stressing safety.

"First of all, you've got to read the instructions," said Washburn. "There will be warnings on the fireworks that explain to you how to use it and what not to do."

She says people should also have water nearby and do not pick up a firework that doesn't go off.

"If its a dud, don't relight it," she said. "You just let it be and wait fifteen to twenty minutes and then put it in a bucket of water."

John Norris, co-owner of Uncle Norm's Fireworks, has a safety sign hanging in his store.

"We want to make sure the product you're getting is as safe as humanly possible for you to have in your backyard display," Norris added.

He says that he and his staff will walk people through their fireworks stand to show consumers which fireworks would look best with the space they have.

All of his products have been tested and viewed by professionals.

He also stresses safety.

"Safety glasses, always," Norris said.

This year, Davenport will be keeping tabs on the amount of fires and injuries from fireworks to see if officials need to change the fireworks policy for next year.

"Safety is the biggest thing," Washburn added. "We want our citizens to enjoy the Fourth of July. We just want them to do it safely."