LAKE WALES, Fla. (FOX 13) - Video shared by the Polk County Sheriff's Office shows what deputies say is exactly what you should not do with fireworks.
Surveillance footage, recorded yesterday in a Lake Wales neighborhood, shows a group of Independence Day partiers. One of them can be seen holding a mortar-style firework in his left hand while waiting for it to ignite and launch.
But after a shower of sparks, the mortar appears to explode right in front of him in a blinding white flash.
Paramedics and deputies responded to the scene. The man, identified as Jonathan Soto of Lakeland, had to be taken to the hospital; deputies say the 35-year-old injured his hand and even suffered heart damage from the blast, and is very lucky to be alive.
"What did he think he was gaining from holding it over his head, so it would go 7 feet higher in the air?" Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. "I am sorry for him. I am sorry for his family. I am glad he is alive and is fortunate to be alive," he said.
"Drinking + holding a mortar tube = bad idea," the sheriff's office tweeted Thursday.