11 injured in Pelham, NH fireworks explosion
PELHAM, N.H. (WHDH) -- Eleven people, including five children, were injured when fireworks exploded at a Pelham, New Hampshire home Tuesday evening.
Neighbors said they heard an explosion and saw a fireball light the night sky around 7:30 p.m.
"I just heard an explosion. It sounded like fireworks -- a big supply of them blew up," said Peter Catanzano, a neighbor.
"It was a big, orange mushroom cloud. That's what it looked like," said Taylor Jackson, a neighbor.
Medical crews rushed to the scene and helicopters took the most severely injured, including two young children, to the hospital.
"There were so many ambulances and fire trucks and cop cars everywhere, people running around,” Jackson said. “There were stretchers on the front lawn for people that got hurt."
Neighbors say the Dodge Road fireworks display is an annual tradition, but for some reason the fireworks, usually kept under the deck, ignited.
"Somehow this whole bunch of fireworks exploded and the porch is gone, and a portion of the side of the house," said Barbara Catanzano, a neighbor.
Among those rushed to the hospital was one of the homeowner’s adult children, a firefighter.
“Not good,” said a woman whose 8-month-old niece and sister are among those hurt. “Everyone is pretty severely injured.”
“She’s having an operation this morning; we're not even sure what part of their body. We hope she's all right. We think she'll be all right. There's first, second and third-degree burns,” David Cook said of his daughter.
As Cook prayed for his daughter, he learned his granddaughter should be okay.
“My son-in-law was holding the baby and protected her. She’ll be the best of all of them. She does have some minor burns, but it sounds minor,” said Cook.
“It just sounded like a lot of fireworks going off at once,” said neighbor, Jackie Troy.
Troy lives across the street. She was outside getting ready to watch the fireworks. She said her neighbors have put on a show for years.
“We have a little granddaughter that got very emotional over it, because when she heard them crying and screaming, she said, "oh, my god, there's something wrong, there's something wrong." "Get help, get help," that's all we heard,” said Troy.
Pelham has no restrictions on fireworks. Ninety boxes of fireworks were carried out of the Dodge Road home in a seemingly endless parade.
Police said that of the eleven people hurt, five remain hospitalized, including three children. Of those people who remain in the hospital, officials say they have very, very serious injuries.
“I’m not a fan of fireworks. This is a perfect example of what can go wrong. Well-meaning people trying to have fun, and an accident happens and caused a great deal of injuries to children and adults,” said Pelham Police Chief James Midgley.
The police chief is urging anybody who may have been at this party to speak with them because they're trying to gather as much information as possible.