Orange County

Orange County mom warns of illegal fireworks danger after son was critically injured

Doctors are not trying to save 10-year-old Edther Garcia's hand.

NBC Universal, Inc.

A Laguna Hills mom has a warning for anyone wanting to experiment with illegal fireworks after both her young sons were injured on the Fourth of July.

Cynthia Garcia’s two sons — 10-year-old Edther and 11-year-old Dominic — were walking to their grandmother’s house after soccer practice in San Juan Capistrano when they found what they thought was a firework.

What the boys actually picked up was an unused aerial shell, a dangerous explosive that is most commonly used to launch skyrockets into the air.

The unused shell exploded in Edther’s hand when the boys tried to light it. The 10-year-old now has severe burns all over his body. 

The explosion also burst his eardrums and he lost most of his left hand. 

“All I remember is recalling Fourth of July, just him dancing, celebrating full of life,” Cynthia Garcia said. “Next thing you know you’re getting a phone call you don’t expect and having to go to the ambulance.”

Noel Diaz, shared his story after an injury due to a fire work last Fourth of July made him lose one eye and suffer third-degree burns on his face. Hetty Chang reports for the NBC4 at 4 p.m. on July 4, 2024.

Edther was taken to the UC Irvine Medical Center, where doctors are now trying to save his hand.

“People should be more careful,” Garcia said. “Even if you think it may not happen to you, it can happen to someone else. It just sucks because you never expect it to happen to you or anyone.

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