ARKANSAS CITY, Kan. (KWCH) — Like many Kansas 17-year-olds, Xavier Tsosie of Arkansas City is very accustomed to lighting fireworks in the summer. After years of doing so, he's well-aware of the dangers fireworks pose when something goes wrong.
Still, what happened to him Friday at his grandparent's house was a surprise.
"I knew it could happen, but I didn't think it would be a sparkler. Because sparklers aren't...they're for kids, basically." Xavier said.
At least that's what he thought before one blew up in his hand.
"I was lighting the top of it, and it shot down to the bottom where you're supposed to hold it - then it blew up," Xavier said.
A single sparkler that ignited in seconds, burning and blackening his hand. Two days after his trip to the emergency room, you can still see the blisters on his fingers.
"It probably was the worst pain I've ever felt. It hurt pretty bad," he said.
Xavier says he was lighting the sparkler for his little brother, and counts himself lucky that the accident wasn't worse.
"I didn't think that was gonna happen. I thought I was just lighting a sparkler for my little brother," he says. "I'm just glad it wasn't in his hand, because that would've been a lot worse."
He says he thinks his accident was just that - an accident, unlikely to happen again. Still, he's thinking twice about letting his little brother be the one who holds one.
"I'd just rather it be in my hand than in my little brother's hand, because that could've been a lot worse if it was in his hand," he said.
Xavier says he doesn't think there will be any permanent damage to his hand, probably a little bit of scarring on his fingers and a newfound sense of caution for a firework he'd previously thought was for kids.