Fireworks explosion survivor speaks

July 7, 2009 11:11:30 AM PDT
The only person to survive the Fourth of July fireworks explosion on Ocracoke Island talked to Eyewitness News. Martez Holland is recovering at the Jaycee Burn Center in Chapel Hill.

"I just seen a pop," Holland said as he explained what happened. "When I seen the pop, that's when I jumped off the back of the truck."

That desperate jump may have saved Holland's life. Four others weren't so lucky.

Mark Hill, Kirk Kirkland, Lisa Simmons and Terry Holland, Martez's uncle, died when a truck carrying fireworks exploded.

"I was laying by the paramedics when I came to," Holland said. "My left and right arms were already damaged."

He suffered third-degree burns.

"His left arm was worse," said Dr. Sam Jones, Jaycee Burn Center. "The extent of the burn was wrapped around his entire arm."

Seeing pictures from the scene of the explosion and knowing friends and family died really hurts him.

"I didn't think nobody else got out," Holland said. "I already knew that."

Now, his journey to physical recovery continues.

"The most important thing to do is get the function back to the hands and the arm," explained Dr. Bruce Cairnes, UNC Jaycee Burn Center. "That's why he's here because this is what we do."

The road to recovery for Holland will last the rest of his life. He is undergoing surgery at the burn center today. It will be one of many he will have to endure as he tries to recover from his awful ordeal.


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