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ATF investigates early morning explosion

UPDATED: Sat., Jan. 25, 2014, 1:10 p.m.

A car explosion was reported just after 1 a.m. today on Morton Street near the 1200 block of East Rich Avenue, and investigators with the Spokane Police Department and the federal ATF believe a very large firework is to blame, said police spokeswoman Monique Cotton.

Witnesses saw a flash of light and heard an explosion as the car was driving south on Morton, said Cotton. Debris was reportedly scattered over half a block.

The car ran off the road, and the first officers on scene found a man inside with a serious hand injury, Cotton said. They applied two tourniquets before the man was taken to a local hospital. The man is expected to survive, Cotton said, but witnesses said he lost one of his hands.

The area was blocked off and searched by the department’s bomb robot. Investigators believe the device that exploded was an M-1000 firework, Cotton said.