Connecticut woman blows off fingers after mistaking dynamite for candle

BRIDGEPORT, Connecticut (WABC) -- A woman was seriously injured in Connecticut after authorities say she mistook a quarter stick of dynamite for a candle.

The Bridgeport Fire Marshal's Office has concluded its initial investigation and is calling the incident a tragic accident.

Officials say the family's Lindley Street home lost power as a result of thunderstorms Thursday night, and after a trip to a closed Home Depot to purchase emergency lighting, the family remembered what they believed to be candles left in the basement of the home by the previous residents.

The victim, who is approximately 30 years old and a married mother of two, attempted to light one of the "candles." Instead, it was a quarter stick of dynamite, which is actually an M-1000 firework.

"They brought them upstairs," Bridgeport Fire Chief Richard Thode said. "There were two. She lit one, went to move it, and it exploded."

She suffered severe injuries to one of her hands, including the potential loss of several fingers. She also suffered serious injuries to her face.

She was taken to Bridgeport Hospital before being transferred to Yale New Haven Hospital.

Her husband and children, ages 2 and 11, were home at the time, but no other injuries were reported. One of the windows of the home was blown out.

The Bridgeport Fire Department and Connecticut State Police searched the home and removed another dynamite device. It was later detonated and disposed of by the state police.

Homes surrounding this home on either side also searched as a precaution, but no other explosive devices were found.

It is against the law to possess dynamite or fireworks or firecrackers in Connecticut, but since this appears to be an accident and the residents of the home had no prior knowledge that they were in possession of explosive devices, no charges are expected to be filed.

"There's no criminal intent, there's no criminal investigation," Thode said. "So we don't know if it was the previous owner, or maybe even the owner before that. It was just some old dusty thing stuck in a corner."

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