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Sparkler Incident Injures 9-Year-Old: Maryland Fire Marshal

Sparklers also reportedly burned a basement on the Fourth of July.

Keep fireworks out of reach of children, the Maryland fire marshal advises. (Credit: Josh Wickerham)
Keep fireworks out of reach of children, the Maryland fire marshal advises. (Credit: Josh Wickerham)

A 9-year-old was in critical condition after being burned by a sparkler on the Fourth of July, according to the Maryland fire marshal.

The boy had been inside a tent with his mother at Savage River State Forest in Garrett County when around 10 a.m. he left the tent, lit a sparkler and his shirt accidentally caught on fire, according to the report from the Office of State Fire Marshal.

He sustained burns on 50 percent of his upper torso, neck and arms, according to the report. The boy was airlifted to the Western Pennsylvania Hospital, where he was in critical condition, the fire marshal said.

Approximately 16 percent of consumer fireworks injuries are caused by sparklers, mostly involving young children, according to the National Council on Fireworks Safety.

"The Office of the State Fire Marshal urges all Marylanders to keep fireworks out of the reach of children..." State Fire Marshal Brian Geraci said.

In addition, burning fireworks inside is a no no, evidenced by an incident in Anne Arundel County.

Legal sparklers used inside a home on Lemon Tree Court in Hanover started a fire in the basement around 2 p.m. on Friday that left $50,000 in damage, according to WUSA 9.

There were no injuries, according to the Anne Arundel County Fire Department, which reported that while the sparklers that caused the blaze were legal, the residents were cited for illegal fireworks discovered during a search of the home.

Fireworks Safety
  • Use fireworks exclusively outdoors.
  • Put a bucket of water nearby where fireworks are being used.
  • Leave lighting of fireworks to the adults.
  • Keep children and pets away from fireworks.
  • Move sources of ignition to areas where kids can't get them.
  • Hold only one sparkler at a time, and stay standing.
  • Leave six feet between people holding sparklers.
— Tips from Maryland State Fire Marshal and National Council on Fireworks Safety
TheOldBray July 06, 2014 at 02:19 PM
So the lesson is...don't let your 9 year old use a lighter. I mean, really?
TheOldBray July 06, 2014 at 02:20 PM
Sparklers aren't exactly "fireworks"...we've all been playing with sparklers from the time we could walk. Accidents happen. Supervision is ESSENTIAL.
Kolo Jezdec July 06, 2014 at 07:08 PM
Supervision used to be a given for parents. Today, not so much...
Tom Sharp July 07, 2014 at 02:02 PM
I don't think the sparkler is the main issue here. What kind of shirt can go up in flames like that?

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