Post courtesy of 13WHAM.com


Location: New York

Date Of Injury: July 2015

ROCHESTER- One year ago, 15-year old Hannah Laird was having a conversation with a family member at an outdoor party in Sodus.

“Then all of a sudden, it all went black,” Laird said. “You could just feel all the sparks on you.”

Several large fireworks malfunctioned and shot straight at Laird, sizzling off the skin on both her thighs.

“They were third degree burns,” Laird said. “So I lost feeling in my legs a little bit because of the layers of skin.”

The fireworks were not lit by professionals, so she thought she was in the clear by sitting about 100 feet away.

“Freak accidents do happen and you should leave it up to the professionals because they are trained,” Laird added.

That incident was enough to make Laird reconsider going to the Henrietta town fireworks display Monday night.

Frederic Calev is the lead pyro technician. Calev is in charge of all aspects of the show, including spectator safety.

“Our people are very familiar with timing and how long it take for the shell to go off,” Calev said. “Most people at home aren’t familiar with that. They see a long fuse and they think they probably have 10 seconds. Our fuses burn at 100 feet per second,” Calev adds.

With 10 -inch fireworks expected to shoot 1000 feet in the air, people are required to stand back at least 700 feet.

For Laird, she’s going to take a pass and watch from her home, about a mile away.

“Even though they are professionals, it is going to be always in the back of my mind that freak accidents do happen.”