Gardener loses hand, eyesight after picking up suspected undetonated firework in Torrance

A local gardener is recovering after what's believed to be an unexploded firework he picked up in a Torrance yard went off in his hand. 

Thirty-seven-year-old Hector Mayoral is a gardener. On Saturday, July 8th, he was mowing a lawn in a Torrance neighborhood when he spotted something on the ground. He said as he grabbed it, it blew up. 

Most of his left hand and fingers are gone. The vision in his right eye is too. His body is covered in lacerations. He is in pain from what he described as a little ball; a little ball with a lot of power, which brought paramedics, police and the bomb squad.

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Neighbor Ken Lucas heard the explosion. He ran into his garage to grab something to use as a tourniquet. From the garage, he ran to Mayoral’s aid and talked with emergency workers.

"The bomb tech, I asked him what he thought it was," Lucas said. "He said it was probably bigger than an M-80."

What happened across from his Lucas’ home was bad enough, but he said it could have been so much worse.

"There are three little kids living right there," he said. "It’s horrifying to think what could happen."

What happened will have lifelong implications for Mayoral. He said he doesn’t have any insurance. As a result, not only does he have his regular bills, but he also now has new medical bills. He has his hospital bills. He has medications.

His family said he’ll probably have to have surgery on his eye. As for his hand, he’s hoping to get a prosthetic someday, but all of that costs money. For ight now, he has no idea what he’s going to do.

His family has set up a GoFundMe campaign here.