Man critically injured after fireworks blow up in face

Cleveland EMS responded to the scene early Tuesday morning where a "large amount" of fireworks had been set off


Adam Ferrise
The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

CLEVELAND — A 21-year-old man is in critical condition after fireworks exploded in his face, officials said.

The incident happened about 12:45 a.m. on East 143rd Street and Coit Avenue in the city’s Collinwood-Nottingham neighborhood, Cleveland EMS spokesman Commander Christopher Chapin said.

Cleveland EMS treated a man with
Cleveland EMS treated a man with "severe" injuries after fireworks blew up in his face early Tuesday morning. (Photo/cleveland.com)

The man suffered “severe” injuries to his face and was bleeding heavily when police arrived, according to a police report.

About 12 people, all of whom were intoxicated, were mostly uncooperative with police, according to the report. Some said the man lit the fireworks himself, while others said someone else lit them and the man was standing too close when they exploded.

The group was standing near a garbage can that contained a “large amount” of fireworks that had been set off and that debris from exploding fireworks littered the area.

Chapin said an ambulance took the man to MetroHealth where he was in critical condition. The police report said officers were unable to speak with him due to his injuries.

The incident happened as Ohio legislators are deciding whether or not to legalize shooting off fireworks. The current law allows Ohio residents to buy fireworks, but that they must drive the fireworks out of state in 48 hours. Shooting off the fireworks in the state is illegal. Those laws are largely unenforced, especially during the July 4th holiday.

A bill that passed the Ohio House in June would make shooting off fireworks legal. It would also require fireworks dealers to give customers safety goggles for free. The state senate will review the House bill.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said during his Tuesday coronavirus briefing that he would not support the bill given the medical and public safety communities’ insistence that loosening restrictions on fireworks would likely result in more injuries.

“That shouldn’t shock anybody who knows me very well,” DeWine said.

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©2020 The Plain Dealer, Cleveland

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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