A Fairfield County woman lost at least one finger and maybe more after lighting a stick of dynamite, thinking it was a candle.
The tragic accident occurred around 8 p.m. Thursday when the family living at 1248 Lindley St., Bridgeport, lost power as a result of the night's thunderstorms, said Av Harris, spokesman for the Bridgeport Police Department.
When the power went out, the family went to the Home Depot to purchase candles, but the store was closed, he said.
The family remembered that when they purchased their home two years ago, there were a couple of what they thought were candles left in the basement by the previous residents, Harris said.
That's when the 30-year-old woman, a mother of two children, attempted to light one of what she thought was the candle and turned out to be a quarter stick of dynamite, he added.
The woman suffered extreme injuries to one of her hands including potential the loss of more than one of her fingers.
She also suffered serious injuries to her face and was taken to Bridgeport Hospital. She was since then transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital and is currently there for treatment, Harris said.
No one else in the home was injured as a result of this incident.
The home was searched and the other dynamite device was found and removed by the Bridgeport Fire Department and the Connecticut State police, it was later detonated and disposed of by the state police.
Homes surrounding on either side were also searched as a precaution but no other explosive devices were found.
Since this appears to have been an accident in the residents of this home had no prior knowledge that what they had in their home were explosive devices not permitted by law, the Bridgeport police will not be pressing any charges as a result of this incident at this time, Harris said.
"There are two lessons learned from this tragedy that are important for members of the public to be reminded of," Harris said. "The first lesson is if you discover something in your home, that looks like something related to flame or fire and you do not know what it is, immediately contact your local fire department."
The second is to remember is to always have back up auxiliary lighting in the case where you lose power and do not have lighting in your home, he added.
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