Local News

Sanford girl burned by fireworks

Posted July 7, 2009
Updated July 8, 2009

— A 5-year-old girl is recovering from burns she received while playing near fireworks over the weekend. 

"It burnt me really bad," Natalie Hunt said.

Fireworks mishap burns 5-year-old Fireworks mishap burns 5-year-old

"It was in seconds. It was so fast. I never saw it coming,” said Anthony Hunt, the girl's father.

Anthony Hunt was lighting fireworks with friends outside his Sanford home for an Independence Day celebration. Several explosions had gone off without any problem until one tipped on its side.

"(It) went straight for her,” Anthony Hunt said. "It stuck to her shirt and melted through her shirt."

Natalie was burned on her arms and chest.

"I picked her up, and ran in the house with her,” said Daniell Wallace, Natalie's mother.

"It was pure panic ... and bad to see,” Anthony Hunt recalled.

Natalie was taken to the North Carolina Jaycees Burn Center at UNC Hospitals in Chapel Hill for treatment.

"The scar will never go away entirely,” said Dr. Bruce Cairns, with the burn center.

Cairns says he sees firework burns, like Natalie's, every year.

"This is not something that will be resolved overnight or next week. It will take months and possibly years,” Cairns said of her recovery.

Natalie may even have to have cosmetic surgery. Her father says he has learned to leave fireworks to the professionals.

"No more, no more fireworks for me and her,” Anthony Hunt said.

Natalie was released from the hospital Tuesday.


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  • slickgirl24 Jul 9, 2009

    ERRN.....she wasn't playing with them. Ready the story.... And she has loving caring parents... Get well Soon Nat Nat

  • ERRN Jul 8, 2009

    Can someone please arrest the parents for letting the 5-yr old play with fireworks.

  • FoolOnTheHill Jul 8, 2009


    Are you just a troll? pErdue needs to worry about other things.

  • GetRight Jul 8, 2009

    FamilyFour - Spot on! Man, the things I survived as a kid. (shakes head with wide eyes)

    And for the "leave it to the professionals" group: does the name Ocracoke ring a bell? Sheesh! Accidents happen everywhere. Most fun activities have some measure of risk involved. Oftentimes that's what makes it fun. This was a tragic accident. Move on.

    For the "let's ban it" crowd: Why don't we start with banning stupidity. That should enable us to lift a whole bunch of currently banned items/activities.

  • tfsparts Jul 8, 2009

    Duke _Nukem: My point being if the "ban everything" crowd wants to prevent the largest number of injuries then they should look at other activities since fireworks related ones are already low. The reporting was for injuries from outdoor activities between June-July.

    Anyone using fireworks needs to be responsible enough to do it safely. If someone wouldn't allow their child to play with matches then why in the world would they allow them to play with fireworks which includes sparklers? It's more of a responsible parent issue.

  • Professor Jul 8, 2009


  • Professor Jul 8, 2009

    The fireworks were some of the safest things we ever played with.

    If the fireworks was all that safe, then why did this young child get hurt. You know nothing. Just all chat. lol

  • Professor Jul 8, 2009

    The girl was injured. But apparently ignorant people here on board cannot see that. It takes a very smart parent to keep their children away from dangerous things, even fire-works.

  • Duke _Nukem Jul 8, 2009


    Yes, if people look at the CPSC statistics they will see more kids are injured by going fishing, riding a bike, or playing baseball than with fireworks. And common sense should always be used in any outdoor activity.

    Let me see. Hmmmm. Do children play with fireworks 365 days a year? No. Do children have access to fireworks all the time like they do toys? No. I would dare say that if children played with fireworks on the same scale as playing with the above mentioned things, you would see a huge number of injuries compared to the dreaded bike, fishing pole or baseball. Kids and stupid parents should not be handling fireworks.

  • familyfour Jul 8, 2009

    I am glad she is going to be okay.

    I will tell you this. I came closer to getting killed by brakes failing on my bicycle and sending me straight into flowing traffic at the end of our long driveway, and drowning from sneezing underwater or falling off the front of a pontoon that bumped the dock on a 32 degree day with 3 layers of clothing on.....riding the snow sled into the barbed wire fence......messing with the bulls in the pasture....siblings snagging each other with fishing hooks....jumping off the pier into a stumpy river....jumping off bridges...jumping ditches on three wheelers....catching snakes....going into the woods with machetes and eventually with our pellet and bb guns.....and dodging older neighborhood boys that didn't respect age...or your parents...all before I turned twelve.

    The fireworks were some of the safest things we ever played with. And we didn't have laws banning any of them, and they were a lot different than what you all have access to.