Local News

Sanford girl burned by fireworks

Posted July 7, 2009 11:19 p.m. EDT
Updated July 8, 2009 5:41 a.m. EDT

— 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.

"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.