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Family Burned In Firework-Sparked Blaze Pushes NH Lawmakers For Changes

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PELHAM, N.H. (CBS) — For the Foy family, the scars are physical and emotional.

The burns on daughter Olivia were not serious but mom and dad weren’t as lucky.

“My flip flops were blasted off of me as I ran down the stairs,” Marci Foy said. “Parts were melted to me.”
It was last July 3rd at a holiday party hosted by a Pelham homeowner, intent on shooting off a lot more than firecrackers and bottle rockets.

A year later, scars still visible on Foy family members. (CBS)

A year later, scars still visible on Foy family members. (CBS)

Neighbors told WBZ-TV at the time, the homeowners, an insurance executive, had a large amount of fireworks at his home because he hosts a display for the neighborhood every year.

Amateur fireworks are not illegal in New Hampshire.

When a so-called “spinner” went awry, 100 gunpowder-filled shells on a nearby deck ignited.

The result was a fireball that injured 13 people, critically burning 3-year-old Ben Bertini.

Investigators insist such heavy duty fireworks are not safe in the hands of consumers but the industry argued there were no stats to back that up.

Now, a proposed bill would limit professional grade fireworks.

“Unfortunately, we have those statistic now,” New Hampshire Fire Marshal Bill Degnan said. “They are not designed for use of the general public.”

To warn others, the Foy family agreed to be a part of a safety video to both support restrictions on professional grade fireworks and to warn others as 4th of July approaches.

Degnan would like to make it mandatory for health care providers to report fireworks injuries – just like gunshot wounds and dog bites.

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