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Illegal Fireworks Explosion Injures City Man

January 1st, 2021 by WCBC Radio

According to the Maryland State Fire Marshal's Office, a Cumberland man was seriously injured minutes into the new year when an illegal firework tipped over and exploded. Philip Herrick II, 19, was being treated Friday at Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown, West Virginia, for trauma to his left hand and lower extremities, fire investigators said Friday. He was initially treated at UPMC Western Maryland.

According to fire investigators, Herrick was discharging fireworks at his girlfriend's Pennsylvania Avenue residence about 12:20 a.m. when a self-constructed launching tube tipped over after he ignited a 1.5-inch mortar. The mortar launched from the tube and reportedly struck Herrick's left hand while he was trying to protect his body.

"Every year Marylanders are injured by fireworks. By acting responsibly, we can help eliminate injuries," State Fire Marshal Brian S. Geraci said. "While limited due to the current pandemic, I would again highly suggest the safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend one of the many public displays throughout the state." 

Fire investigators said charges against Herrick, which could include possession and discharging of fireworks, are pending.