2 Killed in Fireworks Explosion That Shook Ontario Neighborhood – NBC Los Angeles

on Mar16
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Two people were killed Tuesday when a powerful explosion touched off by commercial grade fireworks that ignited at a house damaged several buildings and spread debris across a wide area in Ontario. Several animals, including a horse, were injured.

The FBI, ATF and a local bomb squad were sweeping the area, described as a backyard of about a half an acre, to make sure there weren’t any other live fireworks.

Details about who were killed were not immediately available, but the blast, prompted an evacuation order for West Francis Street and West Maple Avenue between Fern and San Antonio. A temporary Care and Reception Center was set up at the De Anza Community Center, 1405 S. Fern.

The blast was reported in a residential area near San Antonio Avenue and West Maple Street. Video posted on social media and from NewsChopper4 showed black smoke rising over the neighborhood and at least one house on fire.

Residents said the initial round of explosions sounded like the finale to a fireworks show. In one video, a loud blast can be heard as a thick smoke cloud rises above homes.

Popping sounds, possibly more fireworks, could still be heard as firefighters and police responded to the scene. City officials confirmed the explosion was caused by a large amount of fireworks that ignited at a home.

“It sounds like a firework factory over here,” said one witness who drove by.

Details about possible injuries were not immediately available. It was not immediately clear whether anyone was in the home at the time.

The residence was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived. Spot fires continued to burn at least an hour after the blast.

The extent of the damage was revealed as smoke cleared. A truck was on its side and the roof of at least one building was blown off. Another building’s wall had collapsed.

One of the properties near the epicenter of the explosion appeared to have horse stables. Video showed firefighters rescuing a horse that was trapped in the debris.

Possession or use of fireworks in the city of Ontario is illegal and prohibited unless a permit is issued for use, transport or storage. Only state-licensed pyro technicians are issued permits.

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