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updated: 8/23/2012 1:17 PM

Arlington Heights man building fireworks injured in accident

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An Arlington Heights man with hopes of obtaining a pyrotechnician's license suffered serious burns while attempting to build fireworks in his basement Tuesday night.

While the man was experimenting with various chemicals typically used to make mortar-type fireworks, one of the powders ignited, causing a "flash fire," said Arlington Heights police Sgt. Charles Buczynski.

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Police and fire crews found an application for the license in the 22-year-old man's home in the 100 block of South Walnut Street but said the form had not been filled out.

There was no explosion, but the flash of heat burned the man's hands and upper legs, according to police.

Emergency crews responded to the home about 8:30 p.m. a and called in the Cook County bomb squad to inspect the home for more explosives, Buczynski said.

The 22-year-old's father took him to Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights, but he was later transferred to Loyola University Medical Center's burn unit.

The man isn't going to lose any fingers, but the injuries were serious, Buczynski said.

"The various components by themselves are not illegal to possess," Buczynski said. "It is illegal when you combine them."

Police said the victim was not working for a pyrotechnics company but was attempting to obtain the license through the state fire marshal's office.

No charges had been filed as of Wednesday night, but police said the investigation was ongoing.

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