EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 3, 2012

Several hurt in fireworks explosion at Pelham home

PELHAM — Several people have been taken to area hospitals — one of them a 3-year-old boy burned badly enough to be sent to a Boston hospital — after fireworks exploded at a home at 40 Dodge Road shortly after 7:30 tonight.

Pelham police confirmed that there was a major incident requiring police and firefighters at the home, but were releasing no details immediately after the incident.

Neighbor Taylor Jackson said several people were on the deck of the home, preparing for a big Fourth of July fireworks display the family has every year on the night before the holiday. She said the family stores the fireworks under the deck.

"I was getting into my car and I heard an explosion,'' Jackson said. "I looked and I saw a huge orange mushroom cloud.''

She said she went to the home a short time later and saw four or five people on stretchers. Among them was a young child, she said. "I saw that child and knew it couldn't be good,'' Jackson said. "I was just hoping no one got hurt seriously, but they did.''

Neighbors later said the injured child is the 3-year-old grandson of the owner of the home. Town records list Jeanne Pappathan as the owner of the two-story colonial-style home.

She was sitting outside the home crying after rescue workers responded to the scene. Her husband, Christopher Pappathan, was among those hurt.

Jeanne Pappathan is listed as the treasurer of Pappathan Insurance Agency, Inc., a family-owned insurance agency established in 1962. The Pappathans are long-time residents of Pelham.

Pelham police and fire crews, assisted by fire crews from several area towns, responded to the scene. There were reports of medical helicopters arriving nearby to transport victims.

The state fire marshal is on the scene investigating.

• • •

Watch for updates on eagletribune.com. A complete report will appear in tomorrow's Eagle-Tribune.

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