Fireworks lead to another Fourth of burns, injuries and death

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The death of a 22-year-old Maine man over the weekend who was killed after trying to launch fireworks off his head was one of several Independence Day-related incidents nationwide.

Devon Staples of Calais, Maine, was killed instantly Saturday when he put a reloadable fireworks mortar tube on his head, according to Steve McCausland, Maine Police Department's public information officer.

McCausland said that Staples put the fireworks in backward. Alcohol was believed to have played a role, according to McCausland.

Since the use of fireworks on private property was legalized in Maine in 2012, Staples' death is the first fireworks-related fatality, according to McCausland. The Consumer Products Safety Commission said there were 11 firework-related fatalities last year in the United States.

Elsewhere over the weekend

-- Two boys were injured after igniting fireworks in Dorchester, Massachussetts, a state in which fireworks are illegal, according to Officer James Kenneally of the Boston Police Department. Kenneally said that 9-year-old Raciel Carbuccia lost a hand in the incident.

Details about the second boy are still being investigated, but Kenneally confirmed that both suffered burns to their hands and face.

-- Nine people in Vail, Colorado, suffered minor burns Friday night after fireworks exploded into a crowd when they didn't fire correctly.

-- A 24-year-old man in Dania Beach, Florida, lost his hand Saturday while lighting fireworks outside of his home, according to Dani Moschella, Broward County Police Department public information officer.

-- Also in South Florida, New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul reportedly suffered a hand injury while lighting fireworks Saturday. reports that he injured his thumb and a few fingers, and that doctors are still determining the severity although no permanent damage is expected.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, an average of 230 people are in the emergency room each day in the month around Independence Day. According to the Fireworks Information Center on, hand and finger injuries are the most common, with face and ear injuries being the second most common. More than 50% of fireworks injuries are burns.





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