Police responded to the 2300 block of North Cedar Street at about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday over reports of a "fireworks incident" in the area.
Three boys, ages 8, 9 and 10, were injured and hospitalized due to an explosion involving an aerosol-type can, according to San Bernardino police. Residents said they witnessed shaving cream all over the scene after the blast.
The injuries ranged from superficial injuries to some more serious, including potential loss of appendages. No injuries were life-threatening.
One of the victims, identified by his mother as Jeffrey Jones, suffered cuts and gashes on his forehead, jawline and torso area. She shared a photo with ABC7 of her son's injuries.
"He was screaming that he was dying," said Myla Burnett, Jeffrey's mother. "I couldn't really see too much because there was so much blood all over him."
As for the other two boys, police said one may have lost a hand and some fingers in the blast. The other was complaining about not being able to see. Police said all three kids appeared to be neighbors residing on the same street.
Authorities were investigating exactly what type of device was used in the explosion.
Police questioned the stepfather of one of the young victims. He was released after questioning, but police are recommending child endangerment charges be filed by the D.A.'s office.
Meanwhile, residents were rethinking their children's safety, especially on the Fourth of July.
"I don't see him leaving my sight on the Fourth of July anymore," Burnett added. "I don't care who you're with. You try to give your children a little bit of freedom but I guess he'll be with me from now on."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that the stepfather had been arrested, but police say he was only questioned and released.