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Baby suffers burns from malfunctioning fireworks in Lancaster

A 6-month-old baby and her mother suffered second-degree burns Tuesday night in the Town of Lancaster when they were struck by fireballs from malfunctioning fireworks, police said.

Lancaster Town Police Capt. William J. Karn Jr. said a 38-year-old male was lighting fireworks about 9:40 p.m. at a home on Westwood Road when one malfunctioned and began shooting fireballs towards several guests seated nearby. A 22-year-old female and her 6-month-old daughter, who was sitting on her lap, were struck by several fireballs and both suffered second-degree burns, he said. The baby suffered burns over 18 percent of her body, Karn said.

The child was transported to Women and Children's Hospital and the mother was transported to Sisters of Charity Hospital by Lancaster Ambulance. The Town Line Fire Department also responded to the home.

The remaining fireworks were confiscated.

Karn said Lancaster police are in the process of filing charges of second-degree reckless endangerment and unlawful dealing with fireworks against the homeowner, Eugene Lapress.

In a Facebook post early Wednesday, police said the baby's mother had also been charged. But Karn later said she has not been charged.

Town police responded to 19 fireworks complaints over the 48-hour period from Monday morning through Wednesday morning, Karn said.

"People think that it's safe and obviously it can turn out badly," he said. "You've got people who aren't professionals handling these things with people in close proximity to them and that's what happens sometimes unfortunately."

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