CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – A 19-year-old man suffered serious injuries after a firecracker exploded in his hand Tuesday night. Firefighters, police officers and medics were called to the 2300 block of Coldstream Avenue NE around 6:40 p.m. because of a fireworks injury.
Police say the 19-year-old sustained serious damage to his hand, including the loss of part of several fingers.
The incident has prompted the Cedar Rapids Police and Fire Departments to issue a reminder that the use of fireworks within the City limits of Cedar Rapids is prohibited. Violation of the ordinance requires a court appearance and a fine of up to $625.
Last year, the Cedar Rapids Fire Department responded to 13 fire incidents involving fireworks, including 3 building fires with the worst fire causing $140,000 damage. Cedar Rapids hospitals treated 21 patients for injuries and four patients were serious enough to be transported by ambulance.
The Cedar Rapids Police Department says officers were sent out 576 times between June 1st and July 8th because of fireworks-related complaints, related to noise, air quality, and perchlorate in the soil.
Two soil samples taken on July 5, near a water well by the Ellis Boat Harbor and Ellis Park, where fireworks were frequently detonated, showed elevated levels of perchlorate, a chemical in fireworks that can cause thyroid problems. There were also concerns about litter, including debris left in public parks and in neighborhoods — often in other people’s yards that weren’t even shooting off fireworks.