Concord man seriously injured by illegal fireworks

July 5, 2011 6:27:45 PM PDT
We are warned every year about the dangers of using fireworks -- a warning that is tragically clear to one family in the East Bay. A Concord man is in the hospital after a backyard fireworks accident blew off part of his hand.

Alisa Peters says she has not slept since she watched her husband Mike light an illegal firework that exploded in his hand.

"It blew as quickly as it lit; the fuse must have been, something was wrong with it," Alisa Peters said.

Firefighters say it was an M-1000, a firework with as much explosive material as a quarter stick of dynamite.

The blast destroyed parts of three of Mike's fingers.

Alisa Peters says the fireworks were left behind by some friends who had been over to celebrate her 40th birthday a couple of days earlier. The shells had fallen into the swimming pool, making the labels unreadable.

Mike stood across the yard and tried lighting two that were duds -- then the third that was not.

"The silence after the boom, probably was what I can't keep, get out of my head and then the reaction, you know the pandemonium," Alisa Peters said.

The Peters' two children were watching as Mike staggered toward his family, bleeding profusely.

"When a human being bleeds in front of you, it's scary and it just makes everything real," Alisa Peters said.

Even more real for Mike Peters, who makes his living using his hands to operate heavy machinery.

Doctors say, with difficulty, he will be able to go back to work.

His wife hopes the story teaches others not to play with explosives.

"Don't pick up a firework or anything and think it's OK, it could've been his face, it could've blown up right in his face and he could be blind right now," Alisa Peters said.

Concord police say it is unlikely Peters will be charged with a crime, even though setting off that sort of firework could be considered a felony.


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