San Jose, CA, United States (4E) – A construction worker lost his hand and a meteorologist his eye while a baby was badly burned during separate fireworks accidents on the Fourth of July.
South Bay resident Alazar Ortiz, 40, lost his right hand and three fingers on his left hand when the firework he ignited in his mother’s driveway in San Jose to celebrate Independence Day on Friday night prematurely exploded. Doctors had to amputate his right hand and saved only two fingers on his left hand.
Ortiz also suffered burns on his face and ears.
Because of his injuries, Ortiz won’t be able to continue his job as a construction worker. His family asked the San Jose Police Department to investigate the store the sold Ortiz the $50 firework.
Two days before the public holiday, the SJPD advised the public where to safely view professionally staged fireworks display and warned that buying, selling, possessing or using fireworks is illegal in the city.
In Youngstown, Ohio, 4-month-old Aubree McCormick’s entire face and hand were severely burned when her playpen caught fire after a firework landed there.
A witness said McCormick’s 10-year-old neighbor kicked a lit tubular firework causing it to land in the playpen placed in her home’s porch. McCormick’s grandmother, Carol McCormick, grabbed the firework and saved the baby from her burning bed. The grandmother injured her fingers in the process.
The baby is still at the Akron Children’s Hospital on Monday.
In Iowa City, Iowa, WXYZ-TV’s veteran meteorologist, Dave Rexroth, 48, lost sight in his left eye and was hospitalized during a firework accident at his relatives’ home. His Detroit TV station reported that he will undergo operation to have a prosthetic eye on Wednesday and will be sidelined from his job until he recovers by September.
Meanwhile, a fireworks store and warehouse in Campbell County, Tennessee was destroyed in a fire on Sunday afternoon.
Explosions were reportedly heard at the Fireworks Superstore at the Huntsville/Oneida 141 exit of I-75 before it burned. No one was reported injured. An investigation is ongoing to determine the cause of the fire.