Illegal fireworks set off in Denver park leave two women severely burned

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DENVER — What started as a beautiful evening in Harvey Park turned into a fiery nightmare for two Denver women.

Brittnee Coyne and Tierney Danio were at the Harvey Park Summer Festival in late July, when someone nearby decided to set off illegal fireworks.

“All the sudden I saw fireworks shoot up into the air, then shooting right at us,” Coyne said.

The accident left Coyne with second degree burns and put her through two surgeries. Danio’s injuries burned deep, requiring stitches.

“The Denver Fire Department was here almost immediately and we can’t thank them enough,” Danio said. She also had high praise for the burn team at Swedish Medical for their treatment.

“It’s not a right to shoot off fireworks, it’s illegal,” said Greg Pixley, Denver Fire Department Captain.

In Denver, lighting any firework that leaves the ground can cost you $1,000 in fines, and up to a year in jail. Pixley says whoever did this in this case could face 4th degree arson charges and up to six years in prison. But the real cost of this act has a bigger impact than just money and jail time.

“This is probably the worst thing that’s even happened to me,” Coyne said. “We’re grateful that it was us and not little kids. There’s a playground on the other side.”

“Shame on you you coward,” Danio said. “Brittnee and I will have lasting effects for the rest of our life and instead of doing the right thing and just coming forward, you ran.”

The Problem Solvers reached out to the Harvey Park Neighborhood Organization, which puts on the Summer Festival, but have not heard back.

If you were at the park that evening, or have pictures or video of what happened, you’re encouraged to call Denver Fire investigators at 720-337-2828.

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