Flagler County children injured from playing with illegal fireworks

By Brittany Jones, Flagler County Reporter
Last Updated: Monday, July 10, 2017, 9:43 PM EDT

Two young Flagler county children were injured after deputies say they were playing with illegal fireworks. One of the kids’ remains in the hospital.

  • 2 kids wounded while playing with fireworks
  • One received severe face scars

It's hard to believe Philant Butler is still smiling, though his face is severely scarred from fireworks.

"I don't really know, my friend found it," said Butler.

Butler was calm as he shared his story. He said Sunday around 4 p.m., he screamed when the fireworks hit him in the face.

A woman in the neighborhood heard the commotion and called 911.

"I heard the firecracker and I looked. I seen the kids running, hollering ‘mama mama’ and I looked at his hand, his hand is hanging off and I made him get in my car," the woman said to the dispatcher.

Deputies said it started in the women's restroom in a Bunnell park Sunday afternoon.

The boy said he and his friend found a firework and he lit it with a lighter and then it exploded. Deputies believe the children are ages 7 and 8 years old but were not sure of their ages. The stranger rushed them to the hospital.

"I need the police or somebody to meet me at the hospital please, it's bad, it's really bad," the woman told 911.

When the deputy arrived on the scene, he said he found multiple fragments of the child's hand inside of the bathroom, and they had to call the fire department to help clean it up while park services assisted.

"This is an unfortunate situation from when a young man probably thought he was having fun, and made a decision that's now changed his life forever," said Sheriff Rick Staly.

"For the last two weeks the south Bunnell area has just been engulfed in exploding fireworks," said Sheriff Staly.

The city manager said city workers also had a hard time cleaning up messy streetsfilled with illegal fireworks after the holiday. The county fire chief also said the department responded to five fireworks-related fires within the past week.

"All of those could've been prevented if people weren't using illegal fireworks," said Sheriff Staly.

Butler said he has two words for the good Samaritan, because it could've been worse.

"Thank you," said Butler.

The sheriff office said if you have any of these fireworks at home, please dispose of them at the sheriff’s office or fire department. 

Both families declined to go on camera but said the boy in the hospital is in high spirits and doing better despite injuries to his hand.