Bay County firefighter warns about firework dangers after losing part of his fingers

Local firefighter urges public to be cautious with fireworks
Published: Jul. 3, 2022 at 11:10 PM CDT
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BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Bay County Firefighter Brandon Luczaj went to a creek with his family 15 years ago. What seemed like harmless fun, turned into something actually harmful.

“I lit one and right as I let go of it, it designated,” Luczaj said.

He started feeling dizzy and quickly realized part of his hand had blown up, after lighting something similar to a firecracker. After spending four days in the hospital and two surgeries later, his right hand would never be the same.

“I lost the tips of all four of my fingers,” Luczaj said.

After going through therapy, he had to re-learn how to do some basic things he once did.

“Trying to learn to write again, try to learn to count money, use my hands like I usually do, run tools, work with tools,” Luczaj said.

With Fourth of July right around the corner, he wants to warn people about the dangers of fireworks. Luczaj said people should leave it to the professionals. He said even sparklers are dangerous.

“Sparklers burn up to 12 hundred degrees Fahrenheit, they are attached to like a clothes hanger wire and if they get done they are very red hot, they’re glowing, they will stay hot for a very long time, people will throw them on the ground not thinking of it, next thing you know somebody steps on it, that’s an instant third-degree burn.”

Luczaj also mentioned trash can fires. Last Fourth of July, he worked 16 trash fire calls and wants people to make sure they put out fireworks with water before throwing them out.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, fireworks start over 19,000 fires and send over 9,000 people to the emergency room each year in the U.S.

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