Man loses most of his fingers in fireworks accident

CADDO LAKE, LA (Raycom News Network) – Fireworks are one of the most treasured traditions of the Fourth of July, but they can also be very dangerous.

One Shreveport man found out just how dangerous after an accident left him hospitalized 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," Balentine said.

Bystanders ran into Martha Walker's 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 plastic bag with ice, and I gave them to the EMT guys and just said a prayer for him."

Emergency Medical Service took Harris to LSU Hospital where doctors brought him into surgery to treat his injuries.  Injuries that will have a lasting effect on his life.  "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."

A reminder of how dangerous the beautiful light displays can be.  "This one was like a grenade.  I think some of these fireworks are so dangerous that they need to be banned from even being sold."  And, what can happen if you're not careful.

Stay with for the latest on his condition.

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