Roswell firefighter critically injured in fireworks explosion released for homecoming

New Mexico

ROSWELL, N.M. (KRQE)- Nearly a month later, one of the two Roswell firefighters who suffered severe burns a fireworks explosion is now out of the hospital. Saturday afternoon, Hoby Bonham got a huge welcome home from his community.

“We’re so thankful that he got to come home,” said Roswell resident Brenda Morrow. He and fellow firefighter, Jeff Stroble, suffered severe burns from an explosion on June 5.

They were handling fireworks to be used for the city’s Fourth of July show. Saturday’s procession celebrated his recovery as people watched with American flags in hand.

“Brings tears to you, gives you chills, it’s wonderful,” said Bonham.

Bonham thanked the community that raised tens of thousands of dollars to help cover his medical expenses while at a Lubbock hospital.

“All of donations and fundraisers and prayers… really been humbled by all of it,” said Bonham.

“We can’t show our appreciation enough,” said Roswell Fire Chief Devin Graham. But while he was being celebrated, Bonham said he’s missing his friend Stroble, who is still in the hospital.

“Kind of sad to leave Jeff, but I know that he’s in great care over there,” said Bonham.

“As positive as this is, we don’t want to lose track of the fact that there’s still some healing to do and Jeff’s still fighting his fight over in Lubbock,” said Graham.

Bonham says he now wants to focus on resting and his at-home therapy.

“I’m beat, and I’ve got a lot of work on getting these grafts to where they’ll close in and stretched out for lack of better words,” said Bonham.

He tells us what he’s looking forward most is finally hugging his two kids that he hasn’t been able to see in person since before the incident. Ten other firefighters had minor injuries in the explosion, but are all okay.

Stroble’s family says he continues to fight in the hospital. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation.

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