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Suspected illegal fireworks cause injury, damage over Fourth of July weekend, Maryland officials say

A boat fire sparked by illegal Independence Day fireworks caused an estimated $50,000 worth of damage in Cecil County, state officials said Wednesday.

The state fire marshal's office is investigating the fire, which occurred around 10:50 p.m. on Tuesday. It took 10 minutes for 25 firefighters to control the blaze, the office said in a statement.

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No one was injured, but two boats and a trailer were damaged, the office stated.

A Talbot County man also was injured by fireworks during the long holiday weekend. The 66-year-old man suffered a severe hand injury after a possible illegal firework detonated while he was holding it Saturday night, the fire marshal's office said.

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A juvenile neighbor found an "unknown type of suspected illegal explosive/firework" and gave it to the man, who ignited it, according to the statement.

The man was flown to from Tilghman Island to the Union Memorial Hand Center in Baltimore by a Maryland State Police helicopter, the office said. His injury was serious but not life-threatening.

In the Baltimore area, no serious incidents were reported. A shed burned down from suspected fireworks in the 3200 block of Conowingo Road in Bel Air, according to the fire department there.

Two people also took themselves to the Baltimore Washington Medical Center in Anne Arundel County for the treatment of minor injuries, the Fire Department said. One was a 23-year-old man who picked up a firework that exploded in his hand, while the other was a 14-year-old girl who was burned on her chest from debris from a firework.

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The fire marshal's office also is investigating a fireworks incident in Prince George's County. A teenage boy suffered "severe hand injuries" after the fireworks he was handling Tuesday night exploded, according to a county Fire Department spokesman, Mark Brady.

Firefighters responded to the 1800 block of Addison Road South in District Heights at around 10:30 p.m., Brady said in a statement. The teenager was taken to a trauma center for his injuries.

Consumer-purchased fireworks are illegal in Prince George's County. The incident is still under investigation, and there are no charges filed.

"Our primary concern is for the health of this young man and his hand injuries," said Fire Chief Benjamin Barksdale in a statement. "However, we cannot look the other way when a law designed to prevent this type of life-changing injury is violated."

The Maryland Natural Resources Police tweeted Wednesday that there were no boating deaths over the holiday weekend, but 15 accidents occurred and 12 people were arrested for operating under the influence.

Maryland State Police said increased traffic enforcement over the long holiday weekend reduced the number of car crashes. State troopers responded to 284 crashes from Friday through Tuesday — down from 495 the year before, the department said in a statement Wednesday. Three of the crashes this year were fatal.

State police also arrested 112 impaired drivers during more than 9,300 traffic stops.

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