Mother warns of dangers of garden fireworks a year after her daughter was badly burned
A Combe Martin mum has urged people to attend organised firework displays a year after her five-year-old daughter was burned by a garden firework.
Maisie Roe suffered burns to her head, neck and hand after a firework shot off in the wrong direction on November 5, 2016.
She was treated at a specialist burns unit in Bristol, where she stayed for eight days.
Maisie still has regular reviews and potentially faces two years of further treatment to reduce the scarring.
Maisie’s mother Stephanie recalled what happened that evening.
With Maisie’s sister feeling unwell, the family decided against going to the local pub’s display, and bought some garden fireworks for the family to watch from 10 metres away.
She said: “The first four went up one and after the other and then a pause. The fifth flare instead of going up flew horizontally across the field and everyone started screaming.
“It was only as it exploded and Maisie’s scarf caught fire did it become apparent the flare had become caught in her clothing.
“My husband had a bucket of water next to the fireworks and he immediately threw it over her, while my mum who is a nurse, started to pull off her clothes.
“I’m a police officer and have been for 10 years and I’m usually quite good in a chaos situation, but when it’s your own child it’s so different.
“I just stood there screaming. I remember my mother screaming instructions at me and the next 24 hours are a daze.”
Stephanie is now asking anyone considering putting on fireworks at home to think again and attend a local display.
She said: “I remember in the past we didn’t think twice about having fireworks at home and when one firework whizzed off in the wrong direction it was funny.
“Now when I hear of kids throwing them at each other in the street it makes my heart sink.
“I wouldn’t want another family to have to go through what we have.
“When I think how relatively minor her burns are and how much pain she has been through it’s terrifying.
“I always try to remember it could have been so much worse. We will certainly never, ever have fireworks at home again.”