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    Default Teen injured by fireworks

    Teen Suffers Burns From Firework
    Written by: lmbell@wear.sbgnet.com

    As the Fourth of July holiday approaches, there was a frightening reminder this week of the dangers of fireworks.
    A Cantonment teenager suffered severe burns after he lit a firework and now he's sharing his story.
    "I got second degree burns all over my face, some more severe than others," said Matt Hamlett, 17.
    Hamlett never thought he'd get hurt by a fire cracker.
    The Cantonment firefighter says he's been around fire works his whole life, but on Tuesday he got burned.
    "Well I was over at a friend's house doing some fire works, I had one in my hand and he lit it and I went to throw it and the fuse landed in some black powder and that went off in my face and it really hurt bad," said Hamlett.
    Hamlett says it was a flash. Flames were everywhere.
    He was able to drive himself home, jumped in the shower and called 911.
    His mom couldn't believe what had happened.
    "He's been doing them all his life, never had anything like this happen before, he's always been real careful," said Cindy Hamlett, Matt's mom.
    Emergency Room Doctor Mike Dolister says he sees these injuries every Fourth of July.
    "The two most common type of fire work related injuries would be injuries to the hand and injuries to the eye," said Dolister.
    Dolister says injuries often happen when a fuse burns out, and people try to re-light the fire work.
    He says eye injuries often occur from exploding fireworks, such as bottle rockets.
    In Hamlett's case, his eyes were protected by glasses, but the rest of his face was burned.
    "My ears are blistered they're swollen they hurt everything above my neck hurts. It singed half my hair off so I had to shave my head," said Matt Hamlett.
    Cindy Hamlett said, "He's in pain, it's hard for him to sleep, it's hard for him to eat, the whole nine yards."
    Hamlett doesn't believe he'll have scars and he hopes by sharing his story, someone else won't make the same mistake.
    "I thought I knew what I was doing, look what happened,"
    If you do set off fireworks this holiday, beware of a greater fire risk this year.
    Hurricane Ivan debris and downed trees created large amounts of fuel for fires.
    Last edited by kjohn23; 07-04-2005 at 08:59 AM.

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