Two 12-year-old boys, Caleb and Brendon, were injured in the explosion of a modified pyrotechnic device at approximately 7:45 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19.

The boys were riding their bikes when something shiny caught their eye, said Oxford Police Department (OPD) Chief John Jones. They stopped and got off their bikes, pulled out a lighter they had with them and tried to ignite the device, which exploded. One of the boys — Caleb, a sixth-grader at Talawanda Middle School — was severely injured, losing his left hand and sustaining damage to the other in addition to a wound on his mouth.

OPD Officer Adam Price responded to the 911 call at 131 E. Withrow St. When he arrived, he saw a group of people surrounding one of the boys, according to the police report.  

He saw two males assisting a nurse, who had made a makeshift tourniquet from a shirt. Price gave them a tourniquet and helped them to apply it, said the police report.

The boy was flown by a helicopter to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, where he still remains after several surgeries and the amputation of his left hand.

His friend suffered minor injuries and was treated at McCullough-Hyde before being sent to Cincinnati Children’s, OPD wrote in a press release.

Caleb’s aunt started a fundraiser on Facebook to raise money for her nephew. People can also donate at Fifth Third Bank through his name.

The incident is still under investigation. OPD is not sure where the modified pyrotechnic device came from, but Jones said the device could have been a discarded firework or one that did not go off.