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Fire Officials: Illegal fireworks accident reminder of dangers

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ARCATA- With an Arcata man recovering from his injuries after setting off an illegal firework, fire officials are cautioning the public about the dangers of the illegal fireworks.

"People think they're fun, and when the go up into the air they may be pretty to look at, but the aftermath is very catastrophic," said Jenny Williamson, Public Information Officer and Fire Prevention Specialist of the Arcata Fire Protection District.

An Arcata fire engine was one of the first to respond to the incident in McKinelyville. Williamson said the mortar firework went off while it was still in the mans hand.

"It's definitely a reminder. These types of incidents happen every year," she said.

Unlike legal fireworks that are sold at stands, illegal ones do not have approval by the State Fire Marshall and can be unpredictable, explode at random and fire into the air.

Williamson said people can suffer from very serious injuries, like loosing a limb, or even death. Two years ago, she said, a young child and adult lost part of their hand while holding a Roman Candle.

"This is a type of behavior that's irresponsible. Unfortunately, people within our society think that this is acceptable," she said.