Grandfather arrested after 11-year-old loses fingers in fireworks accident

An 11-year-old girl lost four fingers after a firework exploded in her hand in a River Rouge home on Thursday, June 27, 2024.

The grandfather of an 11-year-old girl who lost four fingers in a fireworks accident was arrested and is possibly facing charges.

On Thursday, twin sisters found a firework in their River Rouge home that was three to four inches in length and appeared to be "something larger than an M-80," said River Rouge Deputy Police Chief Dasumo Mitchell.

An M-80 is a type of large firecracker.

One of the 11-year-old girls lit up the firework in the bathroom, thinking it was some sort of sparkler, Mitchell told FOX 2. She tried to put it out in the sink and then attempted to run out of the house with it, but it ended up exploding in her hand. 

The girl who lit the explosive lost four fingers; further amputation may be needed. Her twin sister suffered minor cuts and burns from debris.

Police say they believe the twins' grandfather bought the fireworks. He was arrested and remains in custody.

An adult woman was asleep on the couch at the time of the incident, Mitchell said. The twins' mother was away at work.

The 11-year-old ran to their neighbor for help, who wrapped a tourniquet around her hand before first responders showed up, police said. Both girls were taken to a hospital.

The incident is still under investigation.

Fireworks safety tips ahead of 4th of July weekend

When it comes to firework safety, especially with Fourth of July coming up, participants should know the following, according to Patrick Mifsud, a part-owner of Exotic Fireworks in Dearborn Heights: 

  • Starting with the most obvious tip – only use fireworks outdoors.
  • Fireworks are not made for children. Kids should be supervised by an adult when near or holding any type of fireworks – even sparklers.
  • Have a bucket of water nearby. Once the firework is done firing and has cooled off enough, douse the firework in the water for proper disposal. Do not just throw the fireworks away in a garbage can or dumpster; they can be extremely hot for minutes after being lit and could start a garbage/dumpster fire.
  • Also keep a fire extinguisher nearby.
  • Surround your firework display with bricks to keep the box steady. Some firework boxes will topple over while firing and hurt those around it.
  • Make sure whoever is lighting up and supervising the fireworks is not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Do not set fireworks off near trees or power lines.
  • When purchasing fireworks, look for a green sticker – which is the store or tent's fireworks license.

"There's a lot of people who just set up a tent for a couple of days, and you don’t know what you are buying," Mifsud said.


11-year-old girl loses several fingers from firework in River Rouge

An 11-year-old girl lost several fingers after a firework blew up in her hand in River Rouge. Her sister suffered minor injuries.