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Members of the state Fire Marshal's Office and the Pelham Police Department remove fireworks from 40 Dodge Road in Pelham. Eleven people were injured after fireworks caused a fire at the homeJuly 3 (Julie Hanson)

11 injured in Pelham fireworks accident; 2 children airlifted; 90 boxes seized

PELHAM - The number of people reportedly injured in fireworks accident at a Dodge Road home has risen to five children and six adults.

Police and fire crews were called to the home shortly after 7:30 p.m. Tuesday after a reported fireworks explosion.

Initial reports indicated that nine people were injured, but two more people drove themselves to an area hospital for treatment last night, according to Pelham Police Lt. Brian McCarthy.

Three children are being treated in a burn unit of a Boston, Mass., hospital. Two of them, around the age of three or four, were airlifted after the incident last night. Two adults also remain hospitalized. The rest were treated and released, McCarthy said.

Police have not yet released the names of the injured.

Around noon the Fire Marshal's office removed 90 boxes of fireworks from the residence. Each box contained nine to 30 shots. More fireworks were removed from another part of the house a short time later.

The incident is being investigated jointly by the state Fire Marshal's office, state police, and the Pelham police and fire departments.

Investigators are urging anyone who attended the party to contact Pelham Police.

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Complete text of earlier updates continue below.

UPDATED, 3:10 p.m.: PELHAM - Eleven people, including children 4 years old and younger, were injured in a fireworks explosion Tuesday evening at the home of a couple who own a local insurance agency. Two of the young children were airlifted to Boston hospital.

Officials on Wednesday said the number of injured people rose from nine to 11 after two people told police they had driven themselves to the hospital last night. Investigators filled the back of a van with fireworks confiscated from the Pelham home.

Police and fire crews arrived at the home, at 40 Dodge Road, at 7:38 p.m. and quickly knocked down the flames on the deck. according to Pelham Fire Chief James Midgley.

Four adults and three children were transported to hospitals; two refused transport, authorities said.

The two children who were seriously hurt were flown to a Boston hospital, according to Midgley. The third child had minor to moderate injuries, he said. The other four patients transported to area hospitals had minor to moderate injuries.

The children were calm and in good spirits, considering the circumstances, he said.

He would not give specifics about the type of fireworks or the amount because authorities are in the beginning stages of the investigation, he said.

Neighbors said at least one of the children, a 3-year-old, is the grandchild of the couple living in the home, Chris and Jeanne Pappathan. The Pappathans are the owners of Pappathan Insurance, located at 95 Bridge St., Pelham.

Taylor Jackson, 17, who lives near the home, said the family puts on a big fireworks show each year for family, friends and neighbors. They were preparing their annual display and it ignited accidentally, she said. Midgley confirmed they were having a party at the home.

'It sounded like a million gun shots going off,' said Jackson. Then she said she saw a huge cloud of smoke.

A large amount of fireworks were found in and around the home, according to Pelham police.

Jackson said a person was blown off the deck by the explosion.

The deck and the rear of the house caught fire, she said.

Jeanne Pappathan is well-known in the community. She is a hairdresser who works out of her home, and many people know Chris, her husband, as the local insurance man.

State police had the road blocked off and the state Fire Marshal had arrived at the scene just after 9 p.m.

The incident marred the holiday festivities in town, which included music and games at the middle school followed by fireworks on Tuesday evening.

Midgley said the dangers of fireworks cannot be understated, using this tragedy as an example.

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UPDATED, 9:53 p.m.: Emergency responders also went to a second fireworks explosion in a home at 12 Jericho Rd., where a 50-year-old man suffered a possible eye injury caused by a firework, police said. Police did not release his name.

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UPDATED, 9:40 p.m.: Authorities arrived at approx. 7:38 p.m. and they quickly knocked down the flames on the deck. according to Pelham Fire Chief James Midgley.

Seven patients are being treated for injuries. Three of those are children between the ages of 3 and 4 years old, he said.

Two of the children were seriously hurt and flown to a Boston hospital, according to Midgley. The third child had minor to moderate injuries, he said.

The other patients, all adults, were transported to area hospitals with minor to moderate injuries. The children were calm and in good spirits, considering the circumstances, he said.

He would not give specifics to the type of fireworks or the amount because authorities are in the beginning stages of an investigation.

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UPDATED, 9:25 p.m.: PELHAM -- Several people were injured, some possibly seriously, in a fireworks explosion at 40 Dodge Road on Tuesday evening at the home of a couple who own a local insurance agency.

Neighbors reported two helicopters were on the scene shortly after the explosion and a 3-year-old child was one of those airlifted to a hospital for treatment of injuries.

Neighbors said the child is the grandchild of the couple living in the home, Chris and Jeanne Pappathan. The Pappathans are the owners of Pappathan Insurance, located at 95 Bridge St. in Pelham.

Taylor Jackson, 17, who lives near the home, said the family puts on a big fireworks show each year for family, friends and neighbors. They were preparing their annual display and it ignited accidentally, she said.

"It sounded like a million gun shots going off," said Jackson. Then she said she saw a huge cloud of smoke.

Jackson said someone was actually blown off the deck by the explosion. The deck and the rear of the house caught on fire, she said.

Neighbors said Jeanne Pappathan is well-known in the community, as she is a hairdresser who works out of her home and many know Chris, her husband, as the local insurance man.

State police had the road blocked off and the state Fire Marshal had arrived at the scene just after 9 p.m.

Authorities were expected to speak to the press sometime before 10 p.m.

The incident marred the holiday festivities in town, which included music and games at the middle school followed by fireworks on Tuesday evening.

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UPDATED, 9:11 p.m.: State police have the road blocked off and the state Fire Marshal has just arrived at the scene.

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PELHAM -- Pelham police and fire crews are on the scene of a fireworks explosion at 40 Dodge Road.

A fireworks display at the home went off accidentally, injuring several people, according to a neighbor.

Taylor Jackson, 17, who lives near the home, said the family, who puts on a big fireworks show each year for family, friends and neighbors, was actually preparing their annual display and it ignited accidentally.

"It sounded like a million gun shots going off," said Jackson. Then she said she saw a huge cloud of smoke.

The deck and the rear of the house caught on fire, she said, adding a 3-year-old was airlifted to the hospital.

We will update the web as soon as we have more information.


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