Seminole man bundled four boxes of sparklers together with tape -- and it exploded in his hand, deputies say

A 36-year-old man had extensive injuries to his right hand following a fireworks accident in Seminole, deputies said.

Pinellas County deputies said they received a report about the injured person before 8:30 p.m. Tuesday in the 8600 block of Kumquat Avenue. When deputies arrived, the Seminole man was already taken to a nearby hospital.

Detectives said it appeared he bundled four boxes of sparklers together and wrapped the flammable ends together using black electrical tape. They said a single sparkler was projected out of the bundle to serve as a fuse.

“Detectives say the wrapping of the bundle changed the nature of the sparklers, to a very large firecracker,” according to a press release by the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

The firework detonated and there was a “very large explosion” before the Seminole man had a chance to toss it away.  

"Let the professionals do it, and enjoy the show," said Tampa Fire Rescue Inv. Joe Hotz. "I have seen hands blown off, I have seen children hit with mortars where they turn out to be deceased."

In 2018, 16-year-old Joseph King died in Tampa trying to celebrate Independence Day when he was hit with an ignited mortar. 

Also that year, a man in Polk County was critically injured during an impromptu celebration. 

"They are way more dangerous than you think," said Hotz. "They are very unforgiving. Once they go off, it is hard to put the pieces back together."