Three boys were hospitalized after an aerosol can that the set on fire exploded in the driveway of their San Bernardino home.
Neighbors startled by the unusually loud explosion on the Fourth of July went outside Tuesday night to see the boys running and screaming for help.
"All you could see was blood and flesh on the ground," said one neighbor.
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Police said the children had been lighting aerosol cans when one exploded, sending them to the hospital with burns and cuts. One of the boys lost several fingers, police said.
Witnesses said the explosion was cause by fireworks, not aerosol cans.
Police and fire authorities responded to the 2300 block of North Cedar Street at around 8:40 p.m. to treat the three boys, ages 8, 9 and 10, said police Lt. Mike Madden.
"All I can see is the blood. I can't see any injuries anywhere because he's just got blood everywhere," said Myla Burnett, a mother of one of the children.
Her son suffered cuts and burns on his face.
One victim's mother said the children were unsupervised at the home. Authorities said one adult was taken into custody in connection with the explosion, but details were not immediately available.
A fourth child suffered a few cuts and singed hair.