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Man Loses Fingers, Critical Injuries After Fireworks Explode In His Hands, Stamford Police Say

Scalzi Park
Scalzi Park Photo Credit: Google Maps street view

A Fairfield County man was critically wounded after allegedly setting off fireworks that exploded in his hands, removing at least one of his fingers and causing extensive damage.

The incident took place around 8:50 p.m., Wednesday, July 1, at Scalzi Park in Stamford, said Assistant Police Chief Tom Wuennemann.

According to Wuennemann, an officer who was in the area heard a "very low explosion," and then another explosion that was louder than a normal firework and headed toward a large crowd of people who were in the area of the park by the basketball court. 

When the officer reached the group they were calling for him to come and help a man who was lying facedown on one of the courts, the chief said.

Officers on the scene reported the 39-year-old city man,  was unconscious with blood pouring from both hands, and at least one finger lying on the court, Wuennemann said. 

While waiting for EMS to arrive, the officers put two tourniquets on one arm due to the extensive damage, and one on the other arm in an attempt to stop the bleeding.

The officers later learned that the man's injuries were so severe he was experiencing arterial bleeding, Wuennemann said.

The man was rushed to Stamford Hospital and then transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital due to the severity of the injuries.

Although many who were present were not cooperative with officers, one witness told officers the injured man was lighting fireworks when they exploded in his hand.

Due to the loud explosion and the extensive injuries, the chief said the fireworks could possibly have been illegal.

No other fireworks were found in the area, Wuennemann said.

Although certain fireworks are legal in Connecticut, the chief said no matter the age, residents need to be careful when setting off explosives.

"This man was 39-years-old so it could happen to anyone," he said. "It's a cautionary warning to those who plan to use fireworks." 

The incident is being investigated by the Fire Marshals Office.

The status of the injured man was not available. 

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