Firefighter injured in Parker fireworks explosion recovering from severe burns

Posted at 6:56 PM, Jul 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-06 21:56:52-04

A Colorado River Indian Tribe firefighter is slowly recovering from a burn to his arm which he suffered during a fireworks explosion earlier this week.

Julio Gonzales was airlifted to Maricopa Integrated Medical System Burn Center from the explosion scene near Parker, Arizona, Sunday night.

His long-time partner, Tiffany Casares, spoke for the first time publicly about the ordeal.

"All we seen was when it was going up, and I don't know. It was just an explosion. I was thinking about him, I was thinking about him, and then I got the call,” Casares said.

Investigators are blaming a faulty firework that sent people running for their lives during an Independence Day celebration.

Gonzales has painful surgeries to endure in the days and weeks to come. His family is by his side and said he's in good condition. They have set up an account for medical expenses.