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Homes evacuated as illegal fireworks seized in Azusa

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Posted at 10:29 AM, Jun 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-28 13:29:47-04

AZUSA, Calif. (AP) — Twenty-seven homes in a Los Angeles County suburb were evacuated for hours Monday as authorities seized more than 2 1/2 tons of illegal fireworks at a residence, authorities said.

Police in Azusa, northeast of LA, began evacuating homes on Hollyvale Street as a precaution shortly before 3:30 p.m. after a tip led authorities to a storage facility and then to a local home, police said.

More than 3,500 pounds of fireworks were seized at the home and in a van parked at the residence, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department bomb squad was called in to move the devices to a safe location, authorities said.

One person was detained and handcuffed, but additional details weren't immediately released.

Certain types of fireworks are illegal in Azusa, including firecrackers and bottle rockets. All types of fireworks are illegal to sell or possess in Los Angeles and in unincorporated areas of the county.

A cache of illegal fireworks seized in South Los Angeles on June 30, 2021 exploded after being loaded into a bomb squad containment vessel. The blast injured 27 people and damaged homes, some heavily. Dozens of residents were displaced and some never returned to the neighborhood.

Federal investigators concluded that the containment vessel had been overloaded.

The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives estimated that the catastrophic blast caused more than $1 million in damage to the area. Hundreds of claims against the city — the precursor to a lawsuit — were filed.