July 4th fireworks leave trail of death, lost limbs, burns – Orange County Register

Twelve years old and well versed in the art of converting a Fourth of July fireworks fountain into a tiny explosive, a friend hands me my first bottle rocket and lights the fuse.

I expect the firework at the end of the stick to fly off. Instead, a shower of burning gunpowder scorches my arm. I still have the marks.

I was lucky.

A nine-year-old girl in Compton last July 4th weekend lost her entire left hand and several fingers on her right when an illegal firework exploded in a park. Elsewhere in Los Angeles County, a man lost most of his fingers. Across the nation, four people were killed by fireworks.

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