DISTRICT HEIGHTS, Md. – A 14-year-old teen was severely injured after a firework exploded in his hand on the Fourth of July.
According to the Prince George’s County Fire Department, they responded to the scene on the 1800 block of Addison Road South just after 10:30 p.m.
A local track and field coach who often spends time in the neighborhood says he witnessed the aftermath.
“When I saw him he was running and he was kind of on fire, so I was yelling from the other side trying to tell him to roll, roll, roll,” says Marcus Barker.
Barker says he helped ice and wrap the teen’s hand and learned after the fact that a friend threw the firework.
“I guess he tried to block it and it blew up,” he says.
Barker says according to the teen’s family, he lost three of his middle fingers and is currently in a local children’s hospital recovering.
Fire officials want to remind everyone that the county outlawed these products for this exact reason.
All consumer purchased/backyard style fireworks are illegal in the county and penalties for violations of the fireworks law include up to $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail.
Fire officials say there are no charges at this time, but the incident is still under investigation.
“Our primary concern is for the health of this young man and his hand injuries,” said Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale. “However, we can not look the other way when a law designed to prevent this type of life-changing injury is violated.”
This injury is the 3rd injury over the past 9 years in Prince George’s County.