A TEENAGER has lost parts of his fingers after he lit a cigarette while holding a firework.
Alex Taylor, 17, now fears he will ever regain the full use of his hand again after the rocket blew parts of his four fingers off his left hand.
Alex, of Fenton Road, central Blackpool, had been holding the lit firework in his living room after it had been passed to him by a friend.
Today he recalled the aftermath of the horrifying explosion to The Gazette.
Alex said: “Everything was white so I couldn’t see properly.
“My ears were buzzing, I saw my right hand first and as I switched to my other hand I saw it and it was a right mess.”
“I got outside and the pain was that much for me that I went into a bad fit.”
Alex, a student with North Lancashire Training Group, in Laycock Gate, Layton, was taken by ambulance to Blackpool Victoria Hospital.
However his injuries were so severe he was quickly transferred to the Royal Preston Hospital, where he underwent a five hour operation to save the remnants of his damaged hand.
Alex, a former Beacon Hill High School pupil, said: “I felt faint and I couldn’t look at it.
“I had to pull my head away because it made me feel sick.
“I wouldn’t even wish this upon people I hate, it’s horrible.”
The full extent of the damage caused to Alex’s hand is not yet known, but at present he can only move his index finger and little finger.
He is also suffering sporadic deafness in both his ears.
And now, as Bonfire Night draws near, Alex has issued a stark warning to those who want to mess about with fireworks.
He said: “Just don’t make silly mistakes.
“You see idiots firing fireworks out of their hands but just try and be safe and keep away from fireworks.
“I’ve got to have help getting dressed and putting my socks on, it’s just messed day to day things up.”
No damage was done to Alex’s house in the incident.
His mum Tracey Higson, 40, said: “I’m gutted and it’s going to affect him for the rest of his life, he should’ve known better.
“He’s learnt his lesson but in a hard way.
“I hope it comes across to other people what happens with fireworks.
“If they get into the wrong hands they’re just so dangerous.”
Lancashire Police attended the incident, which took place at around 4.30am on Monday October 24.
Chief Inspector Gary Dunnagan, from Blackpool Police, said: “We want people to have a safe and enjoyable bonfire night and the best way to do this is by attending an organised event.
“At this time of year we often see a rise in anti-social behaviour, with complaints about misuse of fireworks and street bonfires rising.
“Our neighbourhood teams will be targeting their patrols to tackle these issues.
“We will also ensure shop keepers are meeting their responsibilities when it comes to selling fireworks.”
Blackpool Council is advising people to enjoy the only official display in the town, to be held at Blackpool Cricket Club on Monday.
Coun Eddie Collett, cabinet member responsible for crime and community safety, said: “Monday can be a very enjoyable night for everybody as long as they act responsibly.
“But people should not forget that they are dealing with explosive substances, and one foolish move from somebody could severely damage their community.”
If anyone has suspicions about fireworks being sold illegally contact the council’s trading standards team on (01253) 478375.