SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA.com) – Three boys were injured when an illegal firework exploded Tuesday night in San Bernardino.
San Bernardino firefighters were called to the fireworks-related explosion just before 9 p.m. in the 2300 block of North Cedar Street. They arrived to find three out of the four boys injured.
According to San Bernardino police, the patients were taken to a nearby hospital.
“We have a number of officers who were out trying to police our illegal firework activity because of the danger of fireworks,” San Bernardino police Lt. Mike Madden told CBS2.
The three boys live in the neighborhood and their parents were nearby when the explosion occurred, police said.
“Next thing I know I see two kids running this way. Both screaming ‘I’m dying, I’m dying,’ ” recalled Myla Burnett. She then realized that one of the boys screaming was her 10-year-old son, Jeffrey Jones (pictured above). She said he has burns on his stomach and legs and still has a ringing in his ears.
“He almost lost his eye. He could have lost his eye if it was just two or three more inches,” said Burnett. “They said he’s lucky. His mouth, he could have lost all his teeth last night.”
Ronnie Motta, 8, lost his right hand in the explosion, according to his aunt. Medical professionals at Loma Linda University Medical Center were trying to save the fingers on his left hand, Motta’s aunt said. He will also need more surgery to repair the damage done to his chest.
A third boy, identified as Isaiah, age 10, remains hospitalized. There is no report on his injuries.
Eight-year-old DeMarcus Mitchell was standing with the other boys. He described it as a “bomb” going off. He ran when it went off and suffered only superficial wounds.
Mitchell’s mother said what exploded was a homemade bomb device. However, police have yet to identify the object that exploded, saying that there are no remnants of the device.
Police said the stepfather of one of the boys admitted he should have been paying closer attention, but no charges have been filed against him yet.
Burnett hopes he is held accountable.
“I don’t understand why you wouldn’t be supervising on that day, one of the most dangerous days of a holiday,” said Burnett. “Fireworks, fires, lighters, explosives — where were you at that you couldn’t keep an eye on the kids, especially boys?”
Police said when they finish their investigation, they’ll present their findings to the District Attorney and he’ll decide whether or not there’s a case for child endangerment.