Fireworks accident sends Shreveport man to hospital

By Brittany Pieper – email

SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) –Fireworks are one of the most treasured traditions of the 4th of July, but they can also be very dangerous. One Shreveport man found out just how dangerous after an accident left him in serious condition.

Chris Balentine was cooking out with family and friends when he heard an explosion. He looked and saw his friend Kirk Harris on the ground.

"He had a mortar shell and he stuck it in backwards and it backfired on him," said Balentine.

Martha Walker says bystanders ran into her home, "Came running in, screaming he blew his hands off, he blew his hands off. It scared me so bad."

While waiting for the ambulance, Balentine had to do something he described as traumatizing.

"Tried to pick up what fingers I could find and put them in a plastic bag with ice, and I gave them to the EMT guys and just said a prayer for him," said Balentine.

EMS took Harris to LSU Hospital where doctors brought him into surgery to treat his injuries.

"It did blow out part of his colon. He's on a respirator, and it took a number of fingers from his right hand and his left hand," said Walker.

A reminder of how dangerous those beautiful light displays can be, and what can happen if you're not careful.

©2010 KSLA-TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.