Man's hand blown off by illegal firework, police say

MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) — Police in the southern Oregon city of Medford say a man had his hand blown off early Friday by an illegal firework.

Lt. Mike Budreau said 37-year-old David Jenkins of Medford tried to relight a device that had failed to ignite in the driveway of a home. The firework had only about a quarter-inch of fuse left and exploded in his hand.

The Medford Mail-Tribune says Budreau described it as "a devastating injury," adding that "a majority of the hand is gone."

Jenkins was flown to Oregon Health and Science University Hospital in Portland.

Police say Jenkins and others had been trying to light an aerial-display rocket. When that didn't work, Jenkins removed the explosive mortar from the top of the rocket and put it in his garage. Police say that after drinking with his companions, he came back out and lit the removed shell, which exploded.

Officers cited Jenkins for illegal possession of fireworks.