Bridgeport woman injured after mistaking dynamite for candle

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BRIDGEPORT -

Police say a woman was hospitalized with serious injuries after she mistook dynamite for a candle during a power outage at her Bridgeport home.

It happened around 8 p.m. Thursday on Lindley Street. Police say the 30-year-old found what she thought was a candle that had been left in a basement drawer by a previous homeowner.

But it was a quarter-stick of dynamite and it exploded, causing serious injuries to the woman's face and hands.

Neighbors came running outside unsure of what the sound was.

"I heard like a big bang so I'm thinking it was like a gunshot at first," said Steve Johnson.

The woman was rushed to Bridgeport Hospital and was then transferred to Yale-New Haven Hospital, where officials say she is recovering.

The woman's husband and two children were home at the time, but were not hurt.

Fire officials say they called in the state police bomb squad after learning there was a second device in the home. They evacuated the residence and surrounding homes, and the second explosive device was detonated elsewhere.

Fire officials say it's National Preparedness Month, and the tragic accident is a learning opportunity.

"Something that we can get out of this is that people should be prepared when we have power outages, they should have flashlights, glow sticks, things like that to really make sure they can handle being without power for several hours," says Bridgeport Fire Chief Richard Thode.

Authorities say that police will not be pressing charges in the case because the family had no previous knowledge that the illegal explosive device was in their home.

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