Spectators hurt watching fireworks - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Spectators hurt watching fireworks

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Daniel Lewis Daniel Lewis
Daniel Lewis' fireworks related injury Daniel Lewis' fireworks related injury
Angel Lewis and her daughter Angel Lewis and her daughter
Patty Dukes Patty Dukes
Terry Seelig Terry Seelig
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) -

First responders are thankful there were no fatalities overnight during the holiday celebrations.  But illegal fireworks were still a problem.

It's the second New Year's holiday where fireworks are against the law but that didn't stop everyone. Video shots over Kalihi last night showed plenty of illegal aerials lighting the sky.  That prompted firefighters to light up their sirens.

On Self Lane in Kalihi three men were rushed to the hospital with serious injuries from an aerial firework that malfunctioned.

Daniel Lewis was recording when the firework went off.  Shrapnel hit in the leg causing a huge bruise and he was standing more than 100 feet away.  He and his wife were both hit although neither went to the hospital.

"All you see is a big explosion then all the sudden my wife got hit, I got hit but I'm just thankful my kids didn't get hit," said Daniel Lewis, firework victim.

"The mere fact I was holding my daughter and she could have been hurt and we just want to celebrate. We didn't even buy fireworks we were just watching them and we were hurt," said Angel Lewis, firework victim. "I'm still shaken up the fact that I was holding my daughter."

Neighbors said the three other victims that went to the hospital were in severe pain.

"They'll survive their injuries but the point is that here are people standing there minding their own business and they are injured by someone else's carelessness," said Patty Dukes, EMS Chief.

On Oahu there were six cases believed to be firework related and Emergency Medical Services paramedics took five people to the hospital with firework injuries, including a Waipahu man who was hit in the head by an aerial as it went off on Maaniani Way.  And a Hawaii Kai man on Awini Place who was hurt by a homemade explosive.

"When it detonated the person that was detonating it wasn't able to get out of its way and it caused serious injury. He'll suffer from for quite awhile," said Capt. Terry Seelig, Honolulu Fire Department, who points out igniting improvised explosive devices is a felony. "I know that IED's are no longer seen as a joke or a lark like they might have been years and years ago."

There was also a small house fire on Akone Place in Kalihi.  It started when an unsupervised young boy was playing with a sparkler inside the house and papers caught on fire.  No one was hurt.

Yet overall this was a much safer night than previous New Year's Eve holidays because no one died in accidents.

"That was the best news of the year was that there were no fatalities for New Year's and in years past we've had them very early on in the evening," said Patty Dukes. "No fatalities, no traffic fatalities, no firework fatalities, no silliness fatalities with people falling off balconies and celebrating too much. It was a relatively good night."

And in some ways that's cause for celebration.

However the Lewis family will think twice before watching illegal fireworks.

"It's dangerous, don't do it. I was a far distance already and still got hit," said Daniel Lewis.

 

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