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Homemade firecracker explodes on teen, injuring fingers

By Sarah Nagem
snagem@salisburypost.com
A Salisbury teenager severely injured his hand Thursday night as he tried to make a homemade firecracker, police said.
Byron Brush Jr., 17, of 122 Newsome Road, injured his thumb and two fingers, Salisbury Deputy Police Chief Steve Whitley said.
Doctors operated on Brush’s hand, and he remained in good condition at Rowan Regional Medical Center on Friday, Whitley said. Visitors at Brush’s hospital room Friday afternoon said Brush and his family did not want to talk about the incident.
Brush used gunpowder, a flame and hot wax to build a firecracker in a bathroom of his home, Whitley said. Police got a call about an explosion around 9:45 p.m. Thursday.
“He essentially blew himself up,” Whitley said.
“It’s just an act of God that he didn’t kill himself.”
Whitley said Brush was semi-conscious when authorities arrived.
Police don’t think Brush had intended to use the firecracker to hurt anyone, Whitley said. “We do not suspect anything sinister going on,” he said.
But Whitley said Brush might face charges. North Carolina doesn’t allow the possession of firecrackers.
Salisbury officers plan to contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the incident.
He said trying to make firecrackers can be extremely dangerous.
“While he was doing this, he made a mistake,” Whitley said. “The mistake was catastrophic.
“This is the thing that your mama warns you about.”
Whitley said Brush is expected to recover.

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