Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man burned after fireworks explode in car at Gandy Beach in St. Petersburg

ST. PETERSBURG — A man went to the hospital after fireworks accidentally ignited his car at Gandy Beach late Thursday, destroying the vehicle.

A man and woman came to the beach about 10 p.m. with a large plastic container of fireworks collected from a stint working at a fireworks stand earlier this month.

"They wanted to celebrate their own Fourth of July because they were working," said Lt. Joel Granata, St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue.

Their makeup celebration irritated another group of people also on the beach, he said. The groups started bickering, and the pair decided to leave.

They picked up the leftover fuses and debris, he said, lumping them into the container with unlit flammables in their 1991 Lexus LS 400.

The explosions started in the car as they pulled away. The old fireworks apparently set off the unused ones, Granata said.

The fireworks blew out the back window and the sunroof — up to 30 feet — before burning the car. The vehicle was a total loss, according to St. Petersburg Fire & Rescue.

The man burned himself as he tried grabbing the keys from the ignition from the outside, Granata said. He had burns across 10 percent of his body and was treated at the scene before he was taken to Tampa General Hospital in good condition.

Early reports indicated the fire started when someone in the backseat of the vehicle apparently tried hurling a mortar at a group of people nearby. Granata said the investigation revealed that not to be the case.

A witness told Bay News 9 the mortar was meant to hit him. "I just heard it explode in there and a few more fireworks went off in the car," said Brandon Carroll, "and it just went up in flames."

Granata did not have the identities of the people who set off the fireworks.

Follow This Just In on Twitter.

Times Staff Writer Danny Valentine contributed to this report

Man burned after fireworks explode in car at Gandy Beach in St. Petersburg 07/16/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 16, 2010 12:32pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. How did Florida National Guard miss soldier's neo-Nazi leanings?

    Military

    Brandon Russell, a private first class assigned to Company C of the 53rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion in Pinellas Park, has been in the Florida National Guard since February, 2016.

    Brandon Russell, 21, of Tampa, is a Florida National Guardsman accused in a federal complaint of illegal possession of explosives. [From YouTube]
  2. New stores coming to Tyrone Square Mall, like Bath & Body Works

    Retail

    Tyrone Square Mall will welcome a half dozen new stores, like Bath & Body Works and MidiCi's The Neapolitan Pizza Company, this summer.

  3. Wilson Ramos feeling good and confident, eyeing late June return to Rays

    Blogs

    Sitting on the bench in the Rays dugout in his full catcher's gear, Wilson Ramos talked excitedly Tuesday about the progress in his recovery from right knee surgery and the potential to be back in the major leagues by this time next month.

    "I feel like a player right now,'' Ramos said.

    Wilson Ramos is aiming to be back with the Rays by this time next month.
  4. Hernando teacher faces sexual battery charges

    Crime

    BROOKSVILLE — Deputies arrested a teacher on charges of sexual battery Tuesday, the Hernando County Sheriff's Office said.

  5. Drought forces tougher watering restrictions on Tampa Bay

    Water

    Homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will be limited to watering their lawns only once a week under new, tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

    A fallen pine tree burns and smolders in a section of pine flatwoods earlier this month in the Starkey Wilderness Preserve in Pasco County. Drought conditions have helped spark wildfires across the state. Now homeowners in Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties will face tighter watering restrictions imposed Tuesday by the Southwest Florida Water Management District. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]