A firework blew off a teenage boy's fingertips and broke his hand while he was playing with it in his bedroom.
Dylan Cosgrove, 15, bought a packet of 10 fireworks from a friend for bonfire night, but decided to light one to show his girlfriend 'for a laugh'.
But to his horror, he couldn't extinguish the fuse and as he panicked he even put the firework in his mouth to try to put it out.
He finally covered the lit firework with his hand when it exploded, breaking his right hand in seven places and snapping two tendons.
Dylan, from Washington, Tyne and Wear, had bought the firework as one of a set of 10 from a friend for just £1.
Dylan told his local paper: "I tried to put it out by blowing on it like a candle and even tried licking it to extinguish the fuse but it wouldn't work.
"I thought the only thing left to do was to put my two fingers on it to soften the blow, but the next thing I heard was a huge bang.
"I couldn't feel anything, I think my body was running on adrenaline. I knew I had been badly hurt.
"My ears were ringing and I could smell my burning flesh."
Dylan was rushed to Gateshead's Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where an X-ray revealed his right hand had been broken in seven places.
He went through four and a half hours of surgery at the nearby Royal Victoria Infirmary and now has metal pins in several of his fingers.
The tip of Dylan's index finger had been completely blown off, leaving the bone sticking out which had to be cut away.
Two of his tendons snapped and retracted into his arm, reducing flexibility and causing damage from which he will never fully recover.
The teenager agreed to make his case public to raise awareness.
He added: "Everyday life is so much harder now. I'll have to get the pins removed from my fingers in a few weeks and I'll need to continue to have physiotherapy for some time.
"I wish I could turn the clock back. This moment of madness could have cost me my life and I put my girlfriend in danger too. I've been extremely lucky."
Area Manager Kevin Gardner, of the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, said: "I would like to thank Dylan and his family for telling their story, to try to prevent this from happening to anyone else.
"I would urge anyone to report the sale of illegal fireworks to the police and not to buy them.
"Licensed fireworks are explosives but buying fireworks from non-reputable or licensed retailers is asking for trouble - you simply do not know what is in them or how they will react."
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