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Two fires start from one set of fireworks
Over the Fourth of July weekend, officials with Clallam County Fire District 3 reported to two serious fireworks incidents in the Sequim area on Saturday, July 5. While the events were four hours apart, the fires broke out from the same fireworks.
Sequim fire chief Steve Vogel said they reported to two separate grass fires on the 500 block of West McCurdy Road off South Seventh Avenue at 11:22 a.m. and 3:38 p.m. that were caused by fireworks.
Officer Kindryn Leiter with Sequim Police Department said two boys, ages 12 and 13, were shooting fireworks into a log near the tree line and on their way back to the Seabreeze Apartments kept shooting fireworks that caught a blackberry bush on fire.
She said the boys tried to put out the fire with their shirts but it got too big so they ran home and their parents called 9-1-1.
The fire department extinguished the first fire, Leiter said, but the boys didn’t mention that they were shooting fireworks near the trees when she questioned them.
Vogel said the second fire burned about 1.5 acres of land and the investigation was turned over to the Department of Natural Resources because forest land was endangered.
Leiter said the boys appeared to be shooting Roman candles, bottle rockets, firecrackers and spinning fireworks.
“I was told if the wind were blowing a different direction, the apartments would have been in danger,” she said.
The boys have been referred to the Clallam County Prosecutor’s office as a juvenile offense for 2nd degree reckless burning.
Two seriously injured by fireworks
Two men were seriously injured in separate incidents on July 4 according to Clallam County Fire District 2 officials. The first call was received by firefighter/paramedics at 11:30 p.m. at 676 Hunt Road west of Port Angeles, for a 47-year-old male apparently struck in the face by a projectile from a fireworks mortar. Initial information relayed to paramedics was that the male was struck directly in the mouth and had lost some of his teeth.
Information gathered at the scene by firefighters indicate that the man had walked away from a group of revelers and when the group ignited the fireworks, the projectile strayed course striking the man in the face. Nearby citizens provided first aid to the man by holding direct pressure on his wounds until fire medics arrived. Paramedics from Clallam 2 Fire Rescue transported the patient to Olympic Medical Center.
In the second incident, paramedics responded at 12:04 a.m. to 529 N. Gales St. east of Port Angeles, for a male in his mid-20s who was struck in the face with a fireworks mortar at close range. The patient was reported as conscious and breathing although the projectile had struck his left eye which was bleeding profusely. Information was reportedly difficult for 9-1-1 dispatchers to gather due to panic on the scene. Fire medics arrived at 12:09 a.m. followed closely by law enforcement officers who arrived on the scene at 12:10 a.m.
The patient was transported to Olympic Medical Center and then to Harborview Medical Center where as of Tuesday, he was upgraded from critical to serious condition.