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Boy loses hand after setting off fireworks

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police are appealing for witnesses after a teenage boy loses his hand after setting off some fireworks.

The sun set early that bitter evening in October and the streets were eerily quiet. The crisp leaves crunched under Matt’s feet, as he made his way to where his friends were waiting.

One of Matt friends had managed to get hold of some fireworks.

With cold chills running through his body, He knew that they shouldn’t have the fireworks – but he didn’t want to be the only one to miss out.

With their phones at the ready, and live streaming their stories, nobody knew quite what a dramatic turn this night would take…

Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service and Cheshire Police are sharing the story of Matt this Hallowe’en and Bonfire season in a bid to highlight the very real dangers that setting off fireworks can bring.

While Matt may not be real, the story is based on real consequences that could, and have, happened in the past.

Cheshire Fire’s Deliberate Fire Reduction lead, Station Manager Andy Gray said: “As firefighters and officers have been unable to go into schools to engage with young people due to the pandemic, a hard-hitting and thought-provoking video has been produced to remind young people of the consequences setting off fireworks and acting anti-socially in their communities can have.

“I really encourage parents/carers to sit with their children to watch the video and have an open and honest conversation around the dangers of fireworks.”

Superintendent Jo Marshall-Bell said: “Anti-social behaviour and criminal damage can have a significant impact on the local community and can have a long lasting effect on victims.

“It is an offence for any person under the age of 18 to be in possession of a firework in a public place, and there will be an increased officer presence across the county to provide reassurance for anyone who may have any concerns over the Hallowe’en and Bonfire period.”

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cheshire, David Keane, said: “The majority of our communities celebrate the Halloween and Bonfire season safely, but a small minority use it as an opportunity to engage in anti-social behaviour, which can spoil things and be a real worry to the vulnerable. I’m very grateful to police officers and firefighters who are raising awareness of the impact of anti-social behaviour to keep the public safe.”

The video has been sent into schools across the county with the message to young people to be a good friend, look out for each other and enjoy Hallowe’en and Bonfire safely.

The story of Matt and his friends can be found on the fire and the police websites and social media accounts.

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