Fireworks concoction doesn't mix in coffee grinder

19-year-old suffers severe burns when mixture explodes

A 19-year-old Durango man was in “fair” condition Wednesday after putting fireworks into an electric coffee grinder and mixing them.

Sean Michael Ogden, 19, attempted to blend fireworks to make larger fireworks when the mixture exploded, said Sgt. Ray Shupe, with the Durango Police Department.

The incident occurred about 12:45 p.m. Monday at a trailer park at 288 Animas View Drive. Ogden was not cited with a crime.

He was taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center before being flown to the University of Colorado with severe burns.

Ogden purchased the fireworks in or near Cortez, said fire Marshal Tom Kaufman, with Durango Fire & Rescue Authority.

“At some point in time, he decided the fireworks he purchased were too small,” Kaufman said.

The man saw something on the Internet showing how smaller fireworks could be altered to make big fireworks, Kaufman said.

“Unfortunately, someone got seriously injured,” he said.

Ogden was wearing jeans and no shirt when the mixture exploded.

A fire inspector who lives about a quarter-mile away said the blast shook her house. It sent a plume of smoke into the air.

Friction from the coffee grinder possibly ignited the mixture, Kaufman said.

The type and quantity of fireworks being used was unknown.

“Fireworks are dangerous, but when you go to alter them ... it's extremely dangerous unless you're absolutely trained in what you're doing,” Kaufman said. “Save your money, come watch the display show that we do.”

shane@durangoherald.com