Fort Worth 19-year-old killed in fireworks accident

A fireworks celebration quickly turned into a very dangerous scene in Fort Worth that killed a teenager.

A 19-year-old was killed after fireworks went off in his hands. It happened in a neighborhood where people described being under siege by explosions and gunfire.

While Independence Day on Thursday was a patriotic celebration for many, it was far from that for the South Edgewood neighborhood. Some described a terrible experience that left a teenager dead after arriving at the hospital.

A doorbell camera from Thursday night recorded the crowds of people, fireworks going off and first responders on the scene. It happened well after the professional shows had ended.

"Looked like everybody from one side of town came and huddled up, they were shooting fireworks at each other,” said resident Angela Tolbert. “It was so bad that the fireworks were coming over here to the house."

A teenager in the middle of it all died. Authorities say 19-year old Maneno Juma suffered a burned arm from fireworks.  By the time paramedics arrived, he was in cardiac arrest and died a short time later at JPS Hospital.

One family says their 1-year old toddler was burned on her leg when a firework crashed through their front window and exploded.

"It was really loud. They were like aiming them at each other,” said resident Simsim Sandbiyar. “We ran and called 911."

Many shell casings remained in the 4800 block of Virgil Street, including one from a 9mm pistol.

Neighbors are now questioning the response from fire and police officials to Thursday night’s tragedy.

Officer Buddy Calzada with Fort Worth Police says at 9:33 p.m. when the first call came in, officers were en route to an assault call near Virgil Street.

“They heard a loud explosion when they got into that block,” he said. “They actually saw it and were flagged down by several people that were in the street.”

The officer says they immediately responded and called for medical services.

But resident Margie Allen says there was still holiday chaos on her street after that incident had cleared.

“There was a lot of people out here,” she said. "But we didn’t get any response from the police, accept that one car.”

The Fort Worth Fire Department says they received more than 450 total 911 calls on July 4th and 1,952 firework-related complaints on the firework hotline. Fort Worth PD received 124 calls about shots fired.

Mike Drivdahl with Fort Worth Fire says his department works with police to decide which agency is needed at each call.

“As soon as we know that it’s a cardiac event, that’s going to be a priority one call for us,” he explained.

Calzada says 911 call takers will ask if the person actually saw fireworks or if they saw someone with a weapon.

“We’ll start asking very specific questions that will actually pinpoint us to whether or not we need to dispatch this as a firework call or a shots fired call,” he said.

The medical examiner says the 19-year-old died of blunt force injury of the chest due to a firework explosion.

Fort Worth Fire expects the firework calls to continue throughout the weekend. Drivdahl says they plan to evaluate their response times and efforts as a whole.