CAUGHT ON CAMERA: Fireworks explode in man's pocket

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - A doorbell camera caught the moment a firework exploded inside a man's pocket on the Fourth of July.

“All I remember is just exploding and my pants were on fire," said Justin Bryden. "I was running around the street without my pants on because I couldn’t put them out."

Bryden and his girlfriend Mandy Campbell live in Teller County, but both drove to Colorado Springs to celebrate the 4th with relatives. The festivities included lighting fireworks in the south Springs neighborhood.

"As the night progressed, we got into the bigger fireworks," he told 11 News. "That's when it sort of went south for me."

Bryden was standing in the middle of a crowd when the blast went off.

"One shot off and went in the air, and then the next thing I know my leg was on fire and exploding," said Bryden.

Bryden says the sparks from a mortar he had lit on the street caught the other three he was carrying in his pocket on fire.

“It happened so fast," said Bryden. "The whole entire block lit up in flames."

The blast sent people running, including his girlfriend Mandy Campbell. Somehow she was the only other person in the crowd who got hurt.

"It just went right into my eye," Campbell said. "Like a 90 mph baseball coming right at you. Out of nowhere."

Campbell's eye is black and blue. Bryden has bruises too and burns all over his body. The shorts he was wearing are shredded.

"He was bleeding everywhere, " Campbell recalled. "His skin was sizzling, like actually sizzling. You could smell it. It was disgusting”

Both feel lucky that it was not worse, but unlucky that it happened in the first place. Bryden says he knows he could have lost his legs.

“I think I’m going to be a lot more careful next time I light fireworks," Bryden said.

It's a lesson learned for both of them. A lesson learned the hard way.

"It goes wrong in two seconds. Literally," said Campbell.

"Don't put fireworks in your pockets when you're lighting off other fireworks," Bryden added.

Hammering home the dangers of fireworks, the couple bumped into their 23-year-old nephew as they were leaving the hospital. He, too, had been injured by fireworks -- at a completely separate party. A small firework hit his eye, and now after surgery, he's waiting to find out if he's going to be able to see.

Fireworks are illegal in the city of Colorado Springs, and only some are permitted in El Paso County.