Boy, 3, burned by fireworks - Sentinel & Enterprise

A New Hampshire toddler sustained serious burns from an illegal fireworks display at his family's summer cottage at Lake Samoset Friday, according to Leominster Police and Fire Departments. Full Story
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scrap man

Worcester, MA

#1 Jul 6, 2008
maybe if the city of leominster had a fireworks display on the 4th they would be watching them insted of makeing there owne dean mazzarela
central mass mom

AOL

#2 Jul 6, 2008
Scrap Man, Leominster has them during Starburst at the end of june
Lois

Worcester, MA

#3 Jul 6, 2008
This is clearly an accident. Lets not make it more than it is.
Riley Martin

Worcester, MA

#4 Jul 6, 2008
Sheet Happens.........
Local firefighter-emt

Milford, NH

#6 Jul 6, 2008
Comments like "this is clearly an accident, lets not make it more than it is" and "sheet happens" really infuriate me as a firefighter/EMT with more than 25 years experience. Comments and attitudes like this minimalize this tragedy. For those who may not know, 3rd degree burns are the most serious burns one can obtain, penetrate all levels of the skin and can go as deep as the bone. These burns are often disfiguring for life, particularly when around the facial area as was the case with this young child. It is very possible this young boy will have disfigurement, scars, skin issues at a minimum for the rest of his life.
This all because his father decided to use illegal fireworks in an unsafe manner. I'm sure his father would give anything to have the opportunity to re-think his decision to use these fireworks, but, life in this situation doesn't allow that and give second chances.
This situation is the precise reason why firefighters, doctor's, nurses, emt's, police officers, etc., constantly state that fireworks of ALL TYPES should be handled only by licensed professionals during shows/displays that are properly permitted, inspected and monitored in accordance with Massachusetts laws.
Some things to think about, over the last 9 years the illegal use of fireworks in Massachusets has resulted in 42 people trated for severe burn injuries and 1 death. Of those 42 people, 69% are under the age of 18. In addition, over $1.5 million dollars in property damage has resulted.
So accidents are accidents, and this stuff happens, but guess what folks, this situation was clearly preventable and would not have happened if the law was not broken, end of story.
My heart and prayers go out to this young boy and his family in hopes that complete healing comes. But, my gut feeling is that there will be scars both physically and emotionally.
Marie P

Franklin, MA

#7 Jul 6, 2008
Local firefighter....first, thank you for all you do..secondly, you are absolutely right. Fireworks are illegal and we all know it. This poor little guy will suffer the consequences of this for the rest of his life.
sam

Wareham, MA

#8 Jul 6, 2008
Every year somewhere this happens what a shame!
Lois

United States

#9 Jul 6, 2008
Local Firefighter,
I am not trying to down play the seriousness of the accident.

My comment was more to try to make people think before they start negatively and harshly judging the poor guy and the kids parents and get carried away with pointing fingers and claiming rightousness.

I appreciate all you do. You have a job tougher than anyone can imagine.

The man did not set out to intentionally hurt the boy.
Stamos

Plainville, CT

#10 Jul 6, 2008
Local firefighter-emt

Milford, NH

#11 Jul 6, 2008
Lois,

Thank you and I apologize if I was a bit harsh. I agree with you that the father did not set out to intentionally hurt his son, I'm sure of that. My frustration and anger comes from the fact that this accident was so avoidable. Now a father and son have pain, and will continue to have pain, that only a few people will ever know.

And you are right this is not a time for self rightousness but, as a parent and uncle, we all know that parents have the absolute obligation to set the right example and do the right thing, particlarly around your children and other young ones.

I wish only the best for this family and fast healing and comfort for his son.

On a side note, within the last week Mr. Steve Pelky, owner of Atlas Fireworks in New Hampshire stated in the Worcester Telegram that he knew that his company sells fireworks (to out of state shoppers) that are illegal in Massachusetts and other States. He also stated that those laws in States like Massachusetts are outdated and not necessary. He pretty took pride in selling fireworks, knowingly, to customers who use them illegally in other States. I ask how responsible is that?

In this case I am not saying that the fireworks came from Atlas Fireworks as I don't know where they were purchased, but, Mr. Pelky's sentiment and attitude is standard and common for fireworks dealers in New Hampshire. This I know from professional and personal experience. And you can bet your last dollar that those fireworks dealers will do everything they can to distance themselves from this tragedy, legally, morally, ethically, etc.

Again, thank you for your appreciation of firefighters, but,it's just what we do, nothing more. And part of what we do is try to prevent tragedies from this from occuring in the future.

I wish all a Happy and safe summer (and rest of the July 4th weekend).
Oh Brother

Rockport, MA

#12 Jul 6, 2008
Local firefighter-emt wrote:
On a side note, within the last week Mr. Steve Pelky, owner of Atlas Fireworks in New Hampshire stated in the Worcester Telegram that he knew that his company sells fireworks (to out of state shoppers) that are illegal in Massachusetts and other States. He also stated that those laws in States like Massachusetts are outdated and not necessary. He pretty took pride in selling fireworks, knowingly, to customers who use them illegally in other States. I ask how responsible is that?
Please remember that this man is in business to make money, and he may have children to feed and a house to pay for, just like you do. This is his chosen business and he has every right to operate it as he sees fit within the laws of the state of New Hampshire, the county, and the town. He has no idea if people are going to take the goods out of state, and that is really not his concern. That is the concern of the police, MA and NH, who exist to enforce the laws and maintain order. No operator of a business that manufactures or sells fireworks has any mandatory responsibility to make sure they are acting with high moral values in accordance with someone else's standards.
Local firefighter-emt wrote:
Mr. Pelky's sentiment and attitude is standard and common for fireworks dealers in New Hampshire. This I know from professional and personal experience.
You may be frustrated with the fact that this accident was avoidable (it was), but recognize that it was PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY that was lacking here. The blame does not lie with the operator of the establishment where the fireworks were sold.

The man who illegally set off the fireworks with kids in the area is COMPLETELY to blame for this accident. No one else is.
Another Firefighter

Webster, MA

#13 Jul 6, 2008
Local firefighter-emt wrote:
Lois,
Thank you and I apologize if I was a bit harsh. I agree with you that the father did not set out to intentionally hurt his son, I'm sure of that. My frustration and anger comes from the fact that this accident was so avoidable. Now a father and son have pain, and will continue to have pain, that only a few people will ever know.
And you are right this is not a time for self rightousness but, as a parent and uncle, we all know that parents have the absolute obligation to set the right example and do the right thing, particlarly around your children and other young ones.
I wish only the best for this family and fast healing and comfort for his son.
On a side note, within the last week Mr. Steve Pelky, owner of Atlas Fireworks in New Hampshire stated in the Worcester Telegram that he knew that his company sells fireworks (to out of state shoppers) that are illegal in Massachusetts and other States. He also stated that those laws in States like Massachusetts are outdated and not necessary. He pretty took pride in selling fireworks, knowingly, to customers who use them illegally in other States. I ask how responsible is that?
In this case I am not saying that the fireworks came from Atlas Fireworks as I don't know where they were purchased, but, Mr. Pelky's sentiment and attitude is standard and common for fireworks dealers in New Hampshire. This I know from professional and personal experience. And you can bet your last dollar that those fireworks dealers will do everything they can to distance themselves from this tragedy, legally, morally, ethically, etc.
Again, thank you for your appreciation of firefighters, but,it's just what we do, nothing more. And part of what we do is try to prevent tragedies from this from occuring in the future.
I wish all a Happy and safe summer (and rest of the July 4th weekend).
i Read all the posts on the Atlas Fireworks article defending their right to shoot off fireworks. I wonder how that little boy will feel about their "rights" when he's older.
Sadly, everyone is always "sorry" and "didn't mean for it to happen" after something like this happens. They always say "it won't happen to me" until it does... Wish I had a nickel for every time I've heard one of those lines after someone did soemthing they knew was dangerous, illegal or both. Tough to undo the damage at that point.
If someone wants to endanger themselves, then that should be their right (Like riding motorcycles without a helmet or not wearing seatbelts) but when their actions endanger innocent people then I have no problem with laws that restrict their activities.
Fire codes are meant to protect EVERYBODY from the unsafe actions of others.

polo

Worcester, MA

#14 Jul 6, 2008
it was just an accident!!! are you people going to make a BIG deal everytime somebody tries to have some fun? it was INDEPENDENCE DAY!! people died for that to happen and it is only fair to celebrate the sacrifice now an accident happens to a father and they are talking to DSS? freaking SICK!!!!!!!!!!
Oh Brother

Rockport, MA

#15 Jul 6, 2008
polo wrote:
it was just an accident!!! are you people going to make a BIG deal everytime somebody tries to have some fun? it was INDEPENDENCE DAY!! people died for that to happen and it is only fair to celebrate the sacrifice now an accident happens to a father and they are talking to DSS? freaking SICK!!!!!!!!!!
Dee Dee Dee!!!!
Dorion

AOL

#16 Jul 7, 2008
Lois wrote:
Local Firefighter,
I am not trying to down play the seriousness of the accident.
My comment was more to try to make people think before they start negatively and harshly judging the poor guy and the kids parents and get carried away with pointing fingers and claiming rightousness.
I appreciate all you do. You have a job tougher than anyone can imagine.
The man did not set out to intentionally hurt the boy.
It is his responsibility to make SURE he is safe. He put him in harms way by just having him near this.
I may sound like I am judging the POOR guy, but what the hell was he thinking. Oh, that's right, he wasn't. I had to tell at least five members of my family this year that there would be absolutely NO fireworks brought to our home. The question is always the same. Why?
The reason is simple, we are not licenced to handle these and it is ILLEGAL. Everyone says the same thing. Oh come on? What's the big deal? Everyone does it! If I were this kids mother he would have hell to pay.
Dope real dope. Not to mention they were probably all drinking around these kids. Which is why this poor child was SO CLOSE to the burning object.
Linda

Middletown, CT

#17 Jul 7, 2008
Lois wrote:
Local Firefighter,
I am not trying to down play the seriousness of the accident.
My comment was more to try to make people think before they start negatively and harshly judging the poor guy and the kids parents and get carried away with pointing fingers and claiming rightousness.
I appreciate all you do. You have a job tougher than anyone can imagine.
The man did not set out to intentionally hurt the boy.
Lois, I disagree. Intentional or not it is illegal. There was absolutely no excuse for this to happen. I hope more people point fingers and make comments. This man did not do everything he could have to make sure his son was safe and therefore a little boy of 3 may suffer for as many years as he lives. People may be cruel to him over the years because of possible disfigurement. This was not just an accident. The proximate cause of all of this is a parent using illegal fireworks around his own child. Would you feel differently if it were your child in the next yard on your swingset who got injured? I know how I would feel if it were my child and you can bet I would be pointing fingers. Maybe shame is the only way to go in this type of instance.
Linda

Middletown, CT

#18 Jul 7, 2008
polo wrote:
it was just an accident!!! are you people going to make a BIG deal everytime somebody tries to have some fun? it was INDEPENDENCE DAY!! people died for that to happen and it is only fair to celebrate the sacrifice now an accident happens to a father and they are talking to DSS? freaking SICK!!!!!!!!!!
He burned his son...nuff said.

Since: Sep 07

Lowell

#19 Jul 7, 2008
polo wrote:
it was just an accident!!! are you people going to make a BIG deal everytime somebody tries to have some fun? it was INDEPENDENCE DAY!! people died for that to happen and it is only fair to celebrate the sacrifice now an accident happens to a father and they are talking to DSS? freaking SICK!!!!!!!!!!
Are you mentally retarded... Have you heard of a three year old wounded during INDEPENDENCE DAY??? All of what you have written is completely off base... Did you fall on your head on the July 4th Holiday?
Marie P

Franklin, MA

#20 Jul 7, 2008
Look at what this families "fun" cost this little boy. Did he intend on hurting his child? No, I'm sure he didn't. BUT he was irresponsible and now his child has to suffer the consequences. He, as the father, should be doing everything to protect his children from harm. He should not be putting his child at risk for any reason. It is no different than if this man drank, got in the car, got into an accident and his child suffered scarring, burns and a long fight ahead of him. Both are illegal, both come with serious consequences for making wrong choices. The father (and any other adult that was there) made a stupid move. ALL the adults there should have known better. There is a reason why fireworks are left to the professionals and not amatuers. Now a little boy has to suffer pain and discomfort for a very long time.
Only the Truth

Boston, MA

#21 Jul 8, 2008
Marie P wrote:
Look at what this families "fun" cost this little boy. Did he intend on hurting his child? No, I'm sure he didn't. BUT he was irresponsible and now his child has to suffer the consequences. He, as the father, should be doing everything to protect his children from harm. He should not be putting his child at risk for any reason. It is no different than if this man drank, got in the car, got into an accident and his child suffered scarring, burns and a long fight ahead of him. Both are illegal, both come with serious consequences for making wrong choices. The father (and any other adult that was there) made a stupid move. ALL the adults there should have known better. There is a reason why fireworks are left to the professionals and not amatuers. Now a little boy has to suffer pain and discomfort for a very long time.
Nuf Said, finally a direct point

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