Illegal fireworks cause injuries and fires

Jeweler shares his cautionary tale every year

Tracy Lehr, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Reporter, tracy@keyt.com
POSTED: 05:50 PM PDT Jul 01, 2013 
VENTURA, Calif. -

It's been a few years since John Muscarella lost the tips of his fingertips on his left hand.

But the Camarillo man knows his story is worth sharing, year after year.

The accident happened when Muscarrella was trying to protect his 14-year old nephew from a homemade firecracker.  His nephew made the firecracker out of safe-and-sane sparklers after the Fourth of July in 2010.

The right-handed master jeweler said it could have cost him his longtime career at Lynn's Jewelry Studio on Telephone Road in Ventura.

Ventura Fire Marshall Brian Clark said he has seen injuries and fires started by all kinds of fireworks.  Clark said they are just like matches that can spark accidental fires in the current dry conditions.

Complaints about illegal fireworks can also lead to fines starting at $424.00.

Clark said people should leave the fireworks up to the pros in other cities.

But the annual fireworks show at Ventura College was canceled months ago due to funding concerns.  The Rotary Club  could not get financial breaks from the city or the college to keep the show going.

Firefighters recommend going to shows in Oxnard,  Camarillo or Thousand Oaks.