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In Focus

Wow...what a crazy night! Some of the local Hewitt residents may know what I’m talking about...

Last Thursday night, I was just about to step into the shower when I heard an explosion. I shut off the shower, got dressed, went outside and ran in the direction of the noise and commotion with mom in tow.

I saw a man, a guest at a neighbor’s house, standing on the front lawn holding his hand in a towel. I asked him if he was okay?

“I blew up my hand.”

So, he was not okay.

My neighbor ran out of the house with car keys, freaking out because she couldn’t drive. I looked at the man’s hand and said he needed an ambulance. By this time, the neighborhood started coming out to investigate the noise. I hollered at another neighbor to call for an ambulance. I grabbed a lawn chair and sat the man down, knowing shock was going to set in quickly.

In my slippers, I ran back to my house and grabbed my mom’s med bag. She’s a retired EMT. I couldn’t find a flashlight so I grabbed an emergency light bulb on a hook and ran back over to the neighbors. The neighbor’s kids were distraught, understandably, so I asked them to go inside as they should have not been watching the incident unfold.

The light revealed a deep laceration on the palm of his hand by his thumb. All his fingers were attached. You could see a chunk of palm was missing and all the muscle tissue was visible. He also had a small burn on his chest and blood splattered across his arms and legs. He was not bleeding profusely. During the time period when I had run home, they used a key chain lanyard as a makeshift tourniquet.

I started digging out pads and gauze for mom when his eyes started to roll backward.

I moved behind him to keep him from flopping out of the chair while holding the light and the tourniquet. He faded in and out complaining of his ears ringing.

Turned out he had some out-of-state fireworks and this particular one had a short fuse. He lit it anyway. He also had been drinking.

The fire department started filtering in, followed by a sheriff’s deputy and the ambulance. Mom gave the EMTs the run down and I slowly released the tourniquet. They loaded him into the rig and headed off to intercept with paramedics.

The man’s wife was hysterical. We got her and her wheelchair outside so she could have a smoke while the deputy asked about the incident. We tried to find the man’s ID with no luck. But the deputy was able to get what he needed for his report.

The kids knew the deputy and he did a great job of calming them down and answering their many questions.

They took the man to Fargo for surgery which sounded like it went well. I haven’t heard an update recently.

I wrote about the incident because people have been asking me about it and the story had been greatly skewed. It was “not” a kid. This was an adult male. All fingers were attached. It did not blow a hole all the way through his hand. The firework was large and looked like a mortar type.

The moral of the story...drinking and fireworks don’t mix!

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