Two People Killed in Southern California Fireworks Explosion

Two people were killed Tuesday after a fireworks explosion in Ontario, California, according to the city fire department. 

Ontario Fire Department Chief Ray Gayk said commercial-grade fireworks caused the fire at a roughly 1-acre residential lot. 

The fire department’s bomb squad is clearing the area while several agencies, including the FBI, are investigating the incident.

“They are commercial grade,” Gayk explained, “like you would normally see in the fireworks show.” 

The two people who died in the explosion have not been identified. Officials have not removed their bodies from the scene, due to ongoing dangerous conditions. 

Gayk said a horse was also injured in the explosion. Video from KABC-V Channel 7 showed a soot-covered horse near the property after firefighters rescued it from a nearby home. A dog was also rescued from the area. 

Residents reported hearing a loud boom and feeling the ground shake as the blast exploded around 1 p.m.

The Ontario Fire Department issued an evacuation order for neighboring properties. The city tweeted that a large supply of fireworks exploded at the house, which then set the residence aflame. Smoke could be seen for nearly 20 miles in towns as far away as Anaheim. 

Dan Bell, a spokesman for the city of Ontario, described the damaged properties as “most likely a total loss.”


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