RICHMOND, Maine — A Sabattus man required 17 stitches above his right eye after he tried to dry out water-drenched fireworks with a torch and a tube went off, said Sgt. Ken Grimes of the state fire marshal’s office.
Jason Douglass, 34, was setting off fireworks Saturday night on the front lawn of a relative’s house on Lancaster Road in Richmond, according to Grimes. He lit off a cake of fireworks, which has multiple tubes in the same package.
After the cake had fired, Douglass was dousing it with water when he noticed that several of the tubes didn’t go off, said Grimes. He then attempted to dry out the unused portion with a torch when one of the tubes went off unexpectedly.
“One went off before he expected it and it hit him in the head, right about the right eye,” said Grimes. “He had quite a large laceration to his forehead as well as a possible eye injury.”
Douglass was taken to Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, where he was treated and then released.
Grimes said Douglass required 17 stitches above his right eye and that his contact lens had melted to his eye because of the heat generated from the firework.
It’s the most significant injury Grimes has seen because of fireworks in quite some time, he said.
“We’ve had smaller incidents, but I haven’t seen an injury of this magnitude for the past several years,” said Grimes.
Grimes asked those using fireworks to use extra caution.
“Please follow the directions on the devices,” said Grimes. “Be aware of your surroundings and have a safe Fourth of July.”