Great Baltimore Firecracker Accidents of 1936

“Innocent Bystanders” Tell Of Firecracker Accidents

Woman Who Usually Stays In House On Fourth Goes Out And Gets Injured — Tin Can And Bottle “Bombs” Cause Casualties

 (The Baltimore Sun, 6/6/1936)

Injuries from firecrackers were suffered by persons who were not handling the explosives as well as by July Fourth celebrants who were lighting them.

Of seven of the victims who were picked at random yesterday to describe how they were hurt, three were “innocent bystanders.”

Mrs. Annie Dubiel 40, of 2044 Eastern Avenue, is always so frightened by firecrackers that she hardly ever leaves her home on July Fourth. But on Saturday afternoon she wished to get some cake for dinner and determined to risk a trip to the corner store in order to obtain it. On the way a small boy threw a ‘cracker across the street at her. It exploded in front of her, lacerating her knee.

Cut By Piece of Tin

Charles Myer, 11, was standing on the pavement on the corner near his home, which is at 1634 North Bradford Street, when a boy put a firecracker under a tin can in the middle of the street intersection. Charles related:

“I was standing about twenty-five feet away, and when it went off, the can flew into pieces and a piece of tin flew up and hit me on the arm. ‘I’m hit,’ I said, and I went in to my mother, and she took me to Johns Hopkins Hospital and the doctor put three stitches in my arm.”

Mrs. Helen Hopkins, of 928 North Ensor Street, was holding her 4-year-old slaughter Regina by the hand, walking in the rear of their cottage at (?)iddle’s Shore, near Dundalk, on Saturday, when the child was severely cut in an explosion. Boys were lighting two-inch salutes in glass jars. Mrs. Hopkins said she saw none of the jars nearby, but suddenly there was an explosion and Regina screamed and lifted up her leg. There was a long gash on it, made by a piece of shattered glass.

Wound Stitched

She took the child to City Hospitals, where the wound was stitched after the girl had lost considerable blood. Mrs. Hopkins remarked, “I don’t buy the things because I am afraid of them, and yet this happens to Regina anyway.”

George Miller, Jr., 13, was cut in the chest by a “pineapple bomb,” which flew up from the pavement and struck him when another boy had lighted it. George, who lives at 132 West Clement Street, said, “He didn’t throw it; it just suddenly flew up and came at me like a bullet. I looked down and saw my chest was bloody. It made me sick, and I fainted. They took me to South Baltimore General Hospital.”

Walter Popko, 11, of 4911 Eastern Avenue, was trying to fire a salute the fuse of which would not light, “I opened up one end of it, lighted a match and put it in, and silver fire shot out,” he recalled. “This silver powder caked all over my fingers and thumb. I went to City Hospitals, and they fixed it. But my fingers are all blistered and sore.”

Burned On Hand

William Brecht, 10, of 509 Quail street, was shooting off firecrackers in a field near his home when one of the devices failed to explode after he lighted it. He picked it up, blew on it, and it went off in his hand. He was treated at City Hospitals for a burn on the palm of his hand, and for a slight eye injury.

Bernard Anshel, 16, was nursing a burned hand yesterday and firing no ‘crackers. He threw away all he had, he said, after a 3-inch one went off in his hand. The report was ringing in his ears late yesterday, he said, at his home, 139 North Patterson Park Avenue.

“This one didn’t go off,” he declared, “so I waited about five minutes, and then I picked it up to make a sizzler out of it. I bent it to get the powder out of it, and then it went off and burned my hand bad.” He was treated at Sinai Hospital.

James Davis was fined $5 and costs by Magistrate J. Frank Fox, in the Southwestern Police Court yesterday on a charge of tossing a firecracker at William Trumpler, of the 2800 block West Mulberry Street, while the two were in a building in the 2800 block Edmondson Avenue Saturday night. Davis, who lives in the 5300 block Bellivisto Avenue, was arrested by Patrolman Samuel Goodman.

Firecracker Lighters Get Blown Into Court

Because he lit a firecracker in a tavern in the 4000 block of Eastern avenue, thereby startling the customers, Charles Morton, 34, of Essex, yesterday was fined $6.45 by Magistrate John A. Janetzke, Jr., in Eastern Police Court.

Sergt. Charles Schamberg said he was attracted by the explosion Saturday, investigated and discovered Morton and the customers watching the smoldering remains of the firecracker en the tavern floor. Oram Krout, 28, of the 3800 block Bank Street, was burned on the legs. He received treatment at the City Hospitals. The charge was “unlawfully firing fireworks within the city limits.”

This One Dismissed

Another who ran afoul of the sporadically enforced fireworks law, but who was dismissed by Magistrate Janetzke, was Anthony Krol, 18, of the 500 block Smith Madeira Street. He was arrested when he fired a firecracker near his home.

Two small boys who allegedly threw firecrackers (lighted) at passing automobiles were held for Juvenile Court by the same magistrate.

Amos Newman, 36, who keeps a store in the 2400 block East Lafayette Avenue, won a dismissal in Northeastern Police Court on a charge of unlawful sale of fireworks. The magistrate was Hugh H. Jones, Jr.

This entry was posted in 1930s, Baltimorons, Crime, Holidays, July 4th, Neighborhoods, Pranks. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Great Baltimore Firecracker Accidents of 1936

  1. ‘Slaughter Regina’ is now the name of the band!

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