Pullman man suffers life-threatening injuries due to firework malfunction

PULLMAN, Wash. — A Pullman man sustained life-threatening injuries on Sunday night after a fireworks tube exploded against his leg.

The man, in his 20s, was bracing the aerial display against his thigh when it exploded and damaged his leg. The City of Pullman Fire Department states that this also severed an artery in his leg.

Neighbors nearby the 300 block of NW Thomas who were watching the fireworks reportedly tried to stop the bleeding with direct pressure and a belt tourniquet, and called Pullman Fire Department. Assistant Chief Ryan Scharnhorst was on the scene around 11 p.m. and said the work of the neighbors helped, but it was ultimately Pullman Police officer Brock Westerman who may have saved the man from possibly bleeding out and dying by applying a tourniquet as high as possible before fire personnel arrived.

Paramedics stabilized the man at the scene and rushed him to Pullman Regional Hospital, where doctors were able to further stabilize him. He was then flown by a Lifelight helicopter to Spokane’s Providence Sacred Heart Hospital for surgery.

The report from the Pullman Fire Department does not include how the man is doing currently.

Pullman fire also responded to several fires on Sunday, the largest of which burned about an acre on SE Clearwater Drive and SE Bypass Drive. That fire occurred around 9:30 p.m., and was reported to be the result of fireworks.

Another fire burned a 60-foot tree and caused damage to two power poles. This was called in around 10:30 p.m. in the 400 block of NW Harrison Street and was also blamed on fireworks. No structures were damaged and Avista was called for repairs.

About an hour later, the fire department was called to the 900 block of SW Itani Drive. A resident was able to extinguish the fire in some grass and weeds with a garden hose, but firefighters made sure the fire, which was attributed to fireworks, was fully extinguished.