The Cedar Rapids Police Department has sent a reminder about fireworks safety and legal restrictions after responding to a fireworks accident Tuesday that resulted in serious damage to a 19-year-old man’s hand.
According to a Cedar Rapids Police media release, officers, firefighters and ambulance personnel responded on Tuesday evening at 6:41 p.m. to the 2300 block of Coldstream Avenue NE for a fireworks injury. On arrival, they determined that the man, who was not identified in the release, had been holding a firework in his hand when it went off. The resulting explosion caused the man to sustain “serious damage to his hand, including the loss of several fingers,” according to the release.
The release went on to state a reminder that the use of fireworks is prohibited within the city limits of Cedar Rapids. According to the release, last year the Fire Department responded to 13 fire incidents involving fireworks, including 3 building fires with the worst fire causing $140,000 damage. Cedar Rapids hospitals treated 21 patients for injuries and four patients were serious enough to be transported by ambulance, according to the release.
Police say that in 2017 fireworks-related complaints resulted in officers being dispatched 576 times between June 1 and July 8. The CRPD received 33 calls about shootings during that same period, which according to them were most likely people hearing fireworks going off. Conversely, there were also two shooting incidents in which some citizens later said that they didn’t call police because they thought the noise was fireworks.
Police officers are citing individuals who are illegally discharging fireworks. The violation requires a court appearance and the fine can be up to $625.