Police are investigating a man who told authorities he was experimenting with fireworks yesterday morning before an explosion in a Hyde Park basement apartment that blew off his hands, injured six others and started a fire.
The man, whose name was not released last night, was mixing chemicals and 'may have been making fireworks' inside the unit when the explosion happened, said Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, adding, 'He lost one or both hands.'
Davis said before the man was taken to the hospital, he told police 'he was experimenting.'
'It sounded like a car crash. Then I saw the fire trucks pull in,' said Lindsey Bell, who lives next door. 'I saw them taking him out on a stretcher. He had no hands. They were bloody stumps and they were wrapping them with bandages.'
Police said the man is expected to survive and no charges had been brought against him as of last night.
Three others were treated at the scene for injuries and the man's roommate was hospitalized with respiratory problems not related to the explosion, Davis said.
Two firefighters also were injured, including one hospitalized for chemical inhalation, said Richard Paris, president of Boston Firefighters Union Local 718. He said firefighters fearlessly rushed into the apartment and put out the fire, despite uncertainty over what caused the blast and whether there may have been another explosive.
Firefighters responded at about 9:30 a.m. to the four-story apartment building on Riley Road, where crews yesterday hosed down first-responders who may have been exposed to dangerous chemicals.
The FBI was also at the scene yesterday and is assisting Boston police in the investigation, agency spokesman Greg Comcowich said.
Davis ruled out drugs and terrorism as connected to the blast yesterday, but said police were checking all their databases to determine who the man was and what he may have been doing in the apartment.
'We'll be going through everything, not just the chemicals in the room, but all of the evidence as we execute a search warrant,' Davis said.