WASHINGTON — Two children were injured after illegal fireworks usage caused a Southeast apartment to "explode," Metropolitan Department Police Chief Peter Newsham said in a news conference Thursday.
A 9-year-old and a 5-year-old were left alone in the apartment in the 4500 block of 3rd Street in Southeast, when the explosion happened. The explosion caused damages to the bathroom of the apartment and left the 9-year-old with a severe hand injury, which Newsham said he "may live with for the rest of his life."
MPD is currently looking at cruelty to children charge for leaving the fireworks in the home, Newsham said.
The police chief spoke on the incident during a July 3 briefing on the District's safety protocols for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend, citing the dangers of lighting off fireworks, especially around children.
"Hopefully others can learn from this lesson that kids can't be near these fireworks," Newsham said.
"Please don't come down to the Mall for the fireworks show," he added.
The President's Salute to America Celebration is set for July 4 on the Mall, with military flyover and a massive display of the fireworks later in the evening.
D.C. fire crews and several others agencies will be sending out "go teams" to monitor D.C. streets during this Fourth of July weekend. Mayor Muriel Bowser has asked residents to set off the displays, and advised residents to stay home.
This initiative is to ensure residents are safe and are properly educated on legal and illegal fireworks in the city, Bowser said.
To request a safety team in a D.C. neighborhood, residents can contact the Fire Marshall Office at 202-727-1614.
To learn more information about firework safety in the District, click here.