Man loses hand in fireworks blast

DAYTON - A Dayton man was recovering Tuesday in a Reno hospital after losing his hand when a firework device he was apparently building exploded, said Lyon County sheriff's Cpl. Jim Cupp.

Michael Barnes, 45, was listed in serious but stable condition at Washoe Medical Center after losing his hand Saturday afternoon.

"I think it was something that he had been playing with since the Fourth of July. He apparently made up a few fireworks, more or less like an M-80, and we believe he was in the process of building another one when one exploded," Cupp said.

An M-80 is a powerful firecracker designed for military use as a gunfire simulator.

Cupp said a 911 call was received by Lyon County Dispatch at 5:56 p.m. Saturday. Units from the Sheriff's Department, Central Lyon County Fire District and paramedics responded to the 500 block of Santiago Way.

Cupp described Barnes as being conscious and in "serious pain" when help arrived.

He was taken by CareFlight helicopter to Washoe Medical Center.

Cupp said Barnes' wife believed her husband had dropped a cigarette ash which ignited the firecracker-like device.

A Fallon Naval Air Station Explosive Ordinance Disposal unit discarded the remaining fireworks.

Cupp said it was unlikely any criminal charges would be filed.

"He lost his hand. I don't see what charging him with a misdemeanor crime is going to do," he said.

No one else was injured.


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