Man Killed When Firework Blows Up In His Face In Gage Park

CHICAGO (CBS) — A man was killed Tuesday night, when a firework exploded in his face in the Gage Park neighborhood.

Police said the 42-year-old man was setting off fireworks around 9:30 p..m. in an alley near 54th and Campbell when one of them blew up in his face.

The man was taken to Holy Cross Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office identified the victim as David Griffin, of the 2500 block of West 54th Street.

Griffin’s wife and family returned to their home Wednesday morning, grief-stricken, not ready to talk about the accident that took his life.

Neighbors said at least one of his sons was beside him when the firework hit Griffin in the face.

“From what I know, he was a good father. He would spend a lot of time with his kids,” Fernando Sotelo said.

Sotelo said Griffin was “pretty experienced” setting off fireworks.

“Last year, we had a cookout – our family with him – and he helped us set fireworks right there in the yard, and it’s tragic how in a year everything changed now,” Sotelo said.

At least two other people were injured by fireworks over the July 4th holiday.

Tuesday night, a man in his 30s suffered a severe hand injury when a firework detonated in his hand in the 4300 block of West Cortez Street.

Earlier Tuesday, a man in his 40s lost most of the fingers on one hand while shooting off fireworks in a parking lot outside a grocery store in the 4600 block of West Belmont Avenue. A fire department spokesman said the firecracker might have been an M-80.

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