Whittlesey man in ‘excruciating pain’ after exploding sparkler causes severe burns

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A dad from Whittlesey said he is thankful his children escaped life-changing injuries after a sparkler exploded in his hand, causing him severe burns.

John Burch is taking strong painkilling medication due to the nasty injuries caused by the Turbo Sparkler he bought from JTF in Peterborough last Saturday.

The injuries suffered by John Burch

The injuries suffered by John Burch

The company has since issued a recall of the product after reports of other people suffering similar injuries. It said the sparkler was “widely available across the market” and that it was investigating.

Mr Burch (36), who has been forced to take time off work as a lorry driver due to the severe pain in his right hand, said he bought the sparklers from the JTF store in Padholme Road East, Fengate, for his children aged, six, eight and 13 to use last Saturday evening.

Fortunately, they were not standing near him when he lit one up.

He told the Peterborough Telegraph: “My children are around the same height as my hand. It does not bear thinking about how bad this could have been. The pain is excruciating, but I could not bear seeing my children putting up with it.”

Mr Burch said the pain in his right hand is so bad it wakes him up at night, and that he has suffered nerve damage to his two smallest fingers.

On top of that, because of the terms of his contract he will not be paid while off work. He has been seeing a doctor daily and hopes to find out soon when he may begin working.

He said: “I was fortunate my children were not stood with me when I lit it up and it exploded. I spent the next two-and-a-half hours putting my hand in water.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve cried due to pain but I was close. I’m now waking up two to three times a night because of the pain. I’m on antibiotics and painkillers but my blisters are not healing.

“Doctors have told me I’ve suffered nerve damage. I’ve had to go back every day.

“The day after this happened I received an email from JTF saying it recognised I had bought the sparklers and they were being recalled for being defective.

“I have three children and it would have been horrific if they had been around.

“At the moment I have no feeling in my two smallest fingers. I’m an HGV driver and I need my hands.

“I started a new job on Monday and turned up with my right hand wrapped and said I can’t drive.

“I don’t blame JTF as they’re a third party supplying the fireworks, but it does not help the fact I’m off work and not getting paid.

“But the main thing for me is the trauma to my little girl. She used to love fireworks.”

Mr Burch said he is taking legal advice as he seeks to cover his loss of earnings, but that he wants to stop others from going through the same pain as what he has been through.

A JTF spokesperson said: “We are aware of a small number of incidents regarding Turbo Sparklers, which are widely available across the market.

“We have taken the precautionary steps and issued a product recall directly to our customers, as we are able to identify all who have purchased, whilst we investigate.”