ALAMEDA, Calif. (KRON) – A man is clinging to his life after being injured in an illegal fireworks accident in the East Bay. The incident is the Bay Area’s first major illegal fireworks injury of the summer holiday season.  

“For fireworks to cause this type of injury, it would most likely have to be a professional-grade aerial device – meaning it launches up in the air as it explodes,” said Michael Williams, a division chief at the City of Alameda Fire Department.

The incident happened Tuesday at around 10:15 PM in the Alameda Point area. 

“What started as a celebration of somebody’s graduation turned out to be a tragic event,” Williams said. “The injury was caused by what appears to be a professional-grade firework that the subject who was critically injured got too close to when it was lit.”

The Alameda County Sheriff’s Office bomb squad provided a demonstration, which you can watch in the video player above, in hopes of deterring anyone else from using illegal fireworks. 

“They’re very dangerous,” said Ray Kelly, a spokesperson for ACSO. “I saw another report in Reno where an individual was blown up and lost a hand messing with the not-so-safe fireworks.”

All fireworks, including those labeled safe, are illegal in Alameda County with the exceptions of Dublin and Union City. But that doesn’t stop people from taking the risk to set off illegal fireworks.

“Every year on the 4th of July it is like a war zone in Alameda and Oakland, where fireworks are going off,” Williams said. “It’s impossible to track down every report of fireworks. It’s just absolutely insane to work on the 4th of July for a firefighter, police officer or anybody in public safety.”