BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (CBS) – A Connecticut woman mistakenly lit a stick of dynamite instead of a candle during a power outage and suffered severe injuries Thursday night, police said.

Authorities said the “tragic accident” happened to the 30-year-old mother of two on Lindley Street after thunderstorms passed through the Bridgeport area. The family tried to go to Home Depot to buy emergency lighting, but the store was closed.

When they got back home, they went to get what they believed were candles left behind in the basement by previous residents.

“She attempted to light one of what she thought was the candle and turned out to be a quarter stick of dynamite,” police said.

Police and firefighters outside the home in Bridgeport , CT. (Image credit: News 12 Connecticut via CNN)

The woman was taken to the hospital with “extreme injuries” to her hands, and she might lose fingers. She also suffered serious facial injuries, police said. The explosion did not injure anyone else.

Police and the fire department later searched the home and removed another dynamite device. It’s against the law to have dynamite or fireworks in Connecticut, but police aren’t pressing charges.

Authorities are reminding people to make sure they have backup lighting in their home in the event of an outage, and to report any suspicious items that could cause a fire to police.

Comments (53)
  1. Mitch Haase says:

    Millennials…from eating tide pods, covering their bodies with tattoos to mistaking dynamite for a candle. Is there anything they do right?

  2. Ken Dixon says:

    Has this woman never seen a Warner Brothers cartoon?

  3. Daniel Silvan says:

    I thought this only happens in cartoons.

  4. Robert Anthony Dracker says:

    I mean… quarter sticks are generally black powder, not dynamite. Trinitrotoluene can leak nitroglycerine, rendering it extremely unstable to impact… typically not made into small sticks like this as it has no industrial purpose, and too dangerous for the untrained person to handle. It was likely a black-powder stick, as they tend to be capped with wax which would cause an uninformed person to misconstrue it as a candle potentially.

    1. Joe Smith says:

      We call them H-100’s and they are a firework ( if the same thing)

  5. Chris McClelland says:

    Wile E. Coyote is smiling. Finally it WASN’T him.

  6. Richard Baker says:

    A Darwin Award candidate.

  7. Hal Lillywhite says:

    Nobody today should use candles for emergency lighting. Even real candles can be dangerous and they don’t put out much light. Now we have available a wide variety of LED flashlights, headlamps, and lanterns that are bright, safe, and easy on batteries. Everybody should equip themselves with some sort of battery-powered LED lighting before the emergency hits. And check the batteries regularly and store them where they don’t accidentally get turned on.

    1. James Ray Graham says:

      We prefer using LED lighting shaped like real candles. Even covered with wax. Just sayin’……

    2. jiminalaska says:

      Sigh, nobody should use knives or forks either if their too dumb to light a candle safely.

  8. Christine Belcik Griffith says:

    Prior planning prevents…a serious tragedy as in this situation. Yiikes! I’m sending thoughts and prayers for this one.

  9. Paul Reed says:

    more FAKE NEWS? my grandfather told me its all fake over 50 years ago.

  10. Hal Slusher says:

    I am sorry I just dont see how you would make a mistake like that.

  11. Ty Harris says:

    The smart asses and sociopaths making derogatory comments or attempts at humor about this article need to unplug from the internet and social media for a while and learn how to be a decent human again. Who in the hell leaves sticks of dynamite behind when they move from somewhere? How many people in this day and age would recognize it in a dark basement for what it was? Maybe dynamite had not been part of her life experience to date. Probably a home-maker not a coal miner. I hope this lady recovers and whoever left dynamite laying around gets charged.

  12. John Rashleigh says:


  13. Imagine the level of ignorance you must attain to do such a thing. Boggles the mind.

  14. Eileen Bennett says:

    Th Harris you are so correct in your statement. Why anyone would post a nasty comment is beyond me. Sympathy to this lady and I hope she comes out of this horror with the least amount of injuries as possible. Saying others for you.

  15. Noah Vaile says:

    Demokraps mistake dynamite stick for candle, blow selves up.

  16. Gil Stonebarger says:

    bet they vote democrat….and we are supposed to fear the left? LMAO

  17. Donny Dingle says:

    Also known as M-80 fireworks. Not exactly dynamite.

  18. hmswilliams says:

    It wasn’t a quarter stick of dynamite if she survived. Probably a black powder charge used for tree stump removal. Nevertheless, prayers for her recovery.

  19. ZERO planning and ZERO thought equals NO COMMON SENSE!!! How can anyone feel sorry for someone so deliberately ignorant? So if someone left some anti-freeze in a jar without labeling it, would she believe it was Kool-Aid and drink it? Hopefully her water is never shutoff and she is not thirsty…

  20. Jim Wolfson says:

    Give her a break; flashlights are incredibly hard to find in the stores – I generally have to drive a hundred miles to Flashlight Depot and they cost a week’s pay.

    So she undoubtedly had no flashlights to go look for candles in a dark basement.
    I mean, who would?

    On a side note, I’m betting she also has at least one ridiculous tattoo, perhaps now burned off.

  21. Jim DuBois says:

    Well, to light a stick of dynamite it has to have a fuse inserted into a cap/detonator. And those are not left laying about by anyone. Also, lighting a fuse is not easily done. A match doesn’t in my experience work. It takes a very hot flame like a propane torch. So, a made up story to cover up the exploding crack pipe…..

  22. Next time fill a coke bottle with gasoline and put a rag in it for a wick.

  23. Dave Hardesty says:

    Forgive me for laughing but you really must be a special kind of stupid not to be able to tell the difference between a candle and a stick of dynamite. Unless it’s old and sweating the stuff is difficult to get to explode. In fact, the detonator is more dangerous than the dynamite. If it’s sweating though you don’t want to handle it because that sweat is nitroglycerine and that will explode. But if it’s open and not contained and you light it it simply burns. If it was a quarter stick of dynamite she’s damn lucky to be alive. Still, I can’t see how she would’t be able to tell the difference.

  24. Hal Lillywhite says:

    Robert, trinitrotoluene (TNT) is not nitroglycerine, nor will it decay into nitroglycerine. They are two different chemicals. Most dynamite consists of nitroglycerine soaked in something like sawdust. And yes, dynamite becomes unstable with age and only experts should handle the stuff.

  25. Steve Barbossa says:

    At least she didn’t mistake it for a sex toy

  26. You had to know this happened back east!

  27. Mike Herman says:

    I used to get my bottle of vanilla confused with my nitroglycerine, but a simple label maker solved the problem.

  28. Eric Liscom says:

    Hmm….the thought occurs that anyone who’s set fireworks off before would…or should know what fuses look like…. Then there’s the whole issue of dynamite vs TNT vs black powder…. There’s obvious differences…in markings, size, etc…. So, how do you mistake that for candles?
    I suspect there’s more to this story, besides sheer stupidity…perhaps drug use of a prank gone wrong…
    Either way, the story is way over sensationalist and was likely written by a liberal who wants to cry about “dangerous” explosive devices that no one should ever have or get access to….all part of the typical leftys undermining anything they don’t like….but, it’s for your own good of course…

  29. Joe Schmoes says:

    As Bugs would say, “What a maroon.”

  30. Jim Burke says:

    I don’t believe a word of it. I grew up on a farm, and we disposed of old dynamite by burning it. It burns quietly. To set off an explosion takes a percussion cap; heat won’t do it. This woman got hold of a railroad flare or old fireworks.

  31. Mike Brailsford says:

    Acme Supplies agent, Mr W E Coyote says, ‘It’s so easily done’.’

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