Illegal fireworks in Antioch injure woman's eye

A small fire sparked by illegal fireworks threatened a home in Antioch. 

It was just one of dozens that Contra Costa County crews responded to over the weekend. 

Nei Trotter said she was injured in one of those fires.

"The  smell was really bad," she said. "The smoke filled the house. '

Surveillance video of a fire that burned a bush near homes on Reseda Way. 

Neighbors said it was started by people who were playing with illegal fireworks around 10 p.m. on July 4.  

Trotter said she and her family evacuated when the flames burned in their front yard. 

"Some debris and ashes got into my eye. I was told by a doctor after I was transported to the hospital that my cornea has scratches," said Trotter. "It's swollen. It's painful. Can't really see out of it."

Trotter said she's surprised and disappointed by neighbors who started the fire.

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But she is also grateful to others such as Ralph Hernandez who moved quickly to help put out the fire when it threatened homes.  

"I singed my chest a little bit," Hernandez said.

 While Contra Costa County bans all fireworks, Hernandez warned that even the so-called safe and sane ones allowed in some communities are dangerous.

"Using all these fireworks, California's been in a drought seems like a decade now.  Everything just burns too easy," said Hernandez.  

Contra Costa County Fire Protection District  Fire Marshal Chris Bachman said crews responded to 79 fires over the holiday weekend including one at Bay Point that burned across the road from homes. 

Bachman said the majority of the fires were started by illegal fireworks, that high humidity and low winds kept the fires from turning disastrous over the weekend. 

The fire marshal said the fire at Bay Point was started by someone throwing fireworks out of a moving vehicle.

"We're asking residents to please dispose of the fireworks or call us and we can get rid of them for you.  Please don't use them.  You're putting everyone at risk," said Bachman.

For now, Trotter is hoping to recover. 

"I'm hoping the medicine will work and I'll be back to 100% soon," Trotter said she anticipates her eye will get back to normal in about a week. 

Amber Lee is a reporter with KTVU. Email Amber at or text/leave message at 510-599-3922. Follow her on Facebook @AmberKTVU,  instagram @AmberKTVU  or twitter @AmberKTVU