INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indianapolis firefighters were called to dozens of fireworks-related incidents during the Fourth of July holiday. Some of the incidents resulted in serious injuries.
According to Indianapolis Fire Department Battalion Chief Rita Reith, the department was called to about 20 trash fires, five vehicle fires, two tree fires, one house fire and dozens of calls for investigations. All of the incidents were believed to be related to fireworks.
Firefighters responded to a house on fire around 10:20 p.m. in the 7700 block of Knue Road on the city’s northeast side. A 46-year-old man told firefighters he was lighting fireworks in his driveway when one of the fireworks shot into his garage instead of shooting up in the sky. The firework landed in a corner of the garage near a lawn mower and several gas cans.
The fire spread through the structure and caused significant damage. Two families were displaced by the fire and two cats are unaccounted for. No one was injured.
In a separate incident around 9:15 p.m., firefighters were in the area of 5800 Southeastern Avenue fueling up one of their engines when they heard a loud explosion sound. Minutes later they were flagged down and told a man had suffered a serious injury. Authorities soon found a 34-year-old man who lost his right hand due to a mortar shell he was holding.
About an hour later authorities say a 20-year-old woman lost several fingers after a firework exploded in her hand. The incident happened in the 3100 block of Brandenburg Drive around 10:15 p.m. The woman told firefighters she thought she was holding a smoke bomb, not a firework.
The woman was taken to Sidney & Lois Eskenazi Hospital in serious condition.
Reith said when firefighters arrived at the scene where the woman was injured they were “met by a large group of teens (they estimated about 100) on the street that were engaged in overzealous and unsupervised firework activity.” Firefighters called Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department officers after they witnessed the teens throw bottle rockets at homes in the area.
According to Reith, two people suffered face injuries, one person suffered an eye injury, another suffered burns to their legs, one person had a head injury and two other individuals suffered from hand injuries in separate fireworks incidents throughout the night.