Tips to staying safe while using fireworks
Backyard fireworks — most of them illegal — killed two and injured four others in Broward County on Thursday.
In the parking lot of his apartment complex at 2930 NW Fifth St. in Pompano Beach around 10 p.m., a 31-year-old man placed a PVC pipe in the ground and put a 3-inch mortar-style firework inside, according to city fire rescue. Several bystanders watched as the man lit the firework, but he failed to move away from it before it went off.
The man, identified as Tavares Hamilton by his family members to the Sun-Sentinel, suffered shoulder, neck and head injuries, and was rushed to Broward Health North but died as a result of his injuries.
Four miles away around the same time, a 24-inch Roman candle blew up in a 15-year-old’s right hand at 1721 NE Second Terrace in Pompano Beach. He was taken to Broward Health Medical Center but lost several fingers and possibly his entire hand in the accident. Fire Rescue did not release the teenager’s name.
Just before midnight in Fort Lauderdale, another Roman candle exploded in a 32-year-old’s hand, the Sun-Sentinel reported. He was taken from his home at the 1600 block of Northwest 13th Street to Broward Health Medical Center, where he died from his injuries. That person’s name had not been publicly released.
Explosives used in all three cases were illegal, as Florida law permits consumer use only of state-approved sparklers.
Elsewhere in Broward County, one child received minor facial burns, another person had minor hand injuries and a third person received a serious eye injury, all from fireworks, according to Broward Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Michael B. Kane. The Sheriff’s Office does not yet have the names of the individuals injured.
Fireworks also caused three fires. One tiki hut caught fire in unincorporated Broward around 9:45 p.m., according to Kane, while the other two, both in West Park, were caused by fireworks left unattended in garbage cans late Thursday and early Friday. All three were extinguished.
There were an estimated 1,900 firework-related injuries across the U.S. reported in 2018, with 62 percent happening in the month surrounding Independence Day, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.