A woman was flown to a Boston hospital Saturday to be treated for an eye injury she suffered while watching a private fireworks display in Jefferson.

Krystal Gagne, 30, originally went to LincolnHealth-Miles Campus in Damariscotta, but was later taken by LifeFlight to a hospital in Boston, said Sgt. Ken Grimes of the Office of the State Fire Marshal.

Gagne was hurt July 4 during an Independence Day celebration at her father’s home at 11 Cod Cove Lane in Jefferson. The celebration included the firing of a cake, which Grimes said is a multi-shot container that, with a single ignition, shoots projectiles into the air.

Grimes said the cake tipped over, causing the projectiles to shoot horizontally rather than vertically. One of the projectiles hit Gagne in the eye, Grimes said.

A Friendship man also suffered an eye injury the same night while trying to shoot off a roman candle. He believed the candle was a dud, but it went off in his face when he went to pick it up, Grimes said. That man, too, was taken to the Miles campus and later was taken by helicopter to Boston.

Grimes said both incidents reinforce the importance of using caution when using fireworks.

Cakes, like the one that injured Gagne, vibrate when they fire.

“If they are not on a solid, level surface, they have a tendency to walk,” Grimes said. “If they’re on a table or bench or something and they’re not secured, they can vibrate off the top … and fall to the ground, so now you have projectiles being fired laterally to the ground.”

The injuries occurred the same day that Maine experienced its first fireworks-related death since the state legalized private use in 2012. Devon Staples, 22, was killed in Calais when he attempted to fire a mortar tube from the top of his head, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Steve McCausland said in a release.

Grimes said a person in Crawford, also in Washington County, suffered a hand injury. Grimes did not have information on accidents in the southern section of the state, but McCausland said there were reports of injuries in Lebanon and Woodstock.

“Our office handled over 50 incidents in a short timespan,” Grimes said while describing the number of incidents handled by the central region, one of three regions in the state. That number includes all complaints and enforcement actions, including those involving fireworks, he said.

It was a busy weekend for the 11 investigators in the fire marshal’s office.

“At any given time we had eight to 11 working,” Grimes said. “I think at one point we were all working.”

Grimes did not have figures for the total number of fireworks-related complaints, but this year seemed to have more activity than last year.

“This Fourth of July, anecdotally, appears to have a few more than what we normally have,” Grimes said.

Craig Crosby — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @CraigCrosby4


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.