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'Long haul' ahead in Pelham after fireworks mishap

Union Leader Correspondent

July 06. 2012 11:10PM

PELHAM - Two more injuries were reported from Tuesday evening's Dodge Road fireworks explosion, bringing the total of those hurt to eight adults and five children.

According to police, homeowner Christopher Pappathan, 58, was injured in the blast, along with: Jessica Pappathan, 32, of Derry; Paul Pappathan, 58, of Everett, Mass.; Patrick Foy, 42, of Greenfield; Marcie Foy, 31, of Greenfield; Gary Brunelle, 45, of Londonderry; Daniel Haight, 50, of Pelham; and Jessel Jones, 39, of Islip, N.Y.

The five children hurt are Ben Bertini, 2; Tyler Brunelle, 2; Olivia Foy, 8 months old; and two who were driven to the hospital by their parents and their names were not available.

The explosion happened during an annual Independence Day celebration held by Christopher and Jeanne Pappathan at their home, at 40 Dodge Road.

As of Friday, Christopher Pappathan, Marcie Foy, and Ben Bertini remained hospitalized in Boston.

Ben Bertini is Christopher Pappathan's grandson and the son of Jessica Bertini, who pulled the boy from the fire and was treated for her own burns.

Tyler Brunelle is Jeanne Pappathan's nephew; the boy is the son of Terri and Gary Brunelle; Terri Brunelle is Jeanne Pappathan's sister.

Both boys were taken to Shriners Hospital, along with baby Olivia Foy, who was burned over 10 percent of her body.

Family members had hoped Bertini would be taken out of a medically induced coma on Friday, but were disappointed to learn that would not be possible.

'It's going to be a long haul,' said Dorothy Harrington, his great-grandmother. 'We're all just praying and hoping to see what happens.'

Members of the Foy family were not available for comment.

Guests and witnesses are being interviewed as police investigate the incident with assistance from the Pelham Fire Department, New Hampshire State Police, the state Fire Marshal's Office, and the Hillsborough County Attorney's Office.

County Attorney Dennis Hogan said he can't determine if charges will be brought until investigators are done conducting interviews and examining evidence.

'It will take a while because there are numerous people to interview,' Hogan said.

The Fire Marshal's Office removed more than 90 boxes of unused fireworks from the home on Wednesday, and said no restricted items were found in the home.

Under state statute there is no limit on the amount of fireworks that can be sold to a consumer, Hogan said.

The fireworks collected as evidence will be held until the investigation is closed, Hogan said. Legal property is then returned to the rightful owner.

The Pappathans own an insurance agency in town and Jeanne Pappathan is a hairdresser who works out of her home.

Funds have been set up to assist with medical bills for Olivia Foy and Ben Bertini. Donations are being accepted at Friends of Ben Fund, Enterprise Bank, P.O. Box 1038, 139 Bridge St., Pelham, NH 03076. Donations for the Foy Family can be made to Enterprise Bank, c/o Foy Family.

General News Accidents Pelham

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