Teen Loses Part of Hand in Fireworks Explosion on Fourth of July

A 17-year-old boy lost part of his hand in a July 4 fireworks explosion in Long Beach, where pyrotechnics are also suspected of triggering several major structure fires, authorities said Tuesday.

The youth was injured shortly after 10 p.m. Monday in the area of 17th Street and Lemon Avenue, according to Brian Fisk of the Long Beach Fire Department.

"Arriving units found a 17-year-old male patient with portions of his right hand missing after a firework had exploded in his hand,'' Fisk said.

"The minor patient was immediately transported by LBFD paramedics to an area trauma hospital in stable condition.''

Meanwhile, the fire department's Arson Investigation Unit responded to four significant structure fires in Long Beach on July 4 -- three involving garages and vehicles, while the other was a vegetation and tree fire.

Fisk said "all indicators point to fireworks as the probable cause of the fires,'' which resulted in an estimated $400,000 in damage and sent one person to a hospital for treatment of a minor injury.

The vegetation/tree fire broke out in 1400 block of Gardenia Avenue, Fisk said.
   The garage fire that caused the injury was in the 400 block of East Louise Street, he said.

Of the two other garage fires, one was in the 4600 block of  East 14th Street and the other -- which also involved two sheds and a recreational vehicle -- was in the 2800 block of  East 63rd Street, according to Fisk.

The Arson Investigation Unit seized more than 500 pounds of illegal fireworks from July 1-4, and issued a misdemeanor citation -- carrying the possibility of a fine up to $1,000 and/or six months in jail -- for the possession of illegal fireworks, Fisk said.

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