A tip led authorities to a 14,000-pound stash of illegal fireworks at Azusa just days before July 4, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office said this week.
The fireworks were stored at a home and storage facility, where investigators from the prosecutors office, Azusa Police Department and LA County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments also found more than 10 000 dollars in cash and an illegal firearm during an operation on Monday.
Twenty-seven homes were evacuated from the 900 block of West Hollyvale Street on Monday afternoon while the explosives were removed, according to the Azusa Police Department.
The prosecutor’s office said one person had been arrested in connection with the investigation.
Fireworks are illegal in unincorporated areas of LA County and many of its cities due to “bushfires, house fires, millions of dollars in damage, injuries and even deaths they may cause,” the district attorney’s office said in a press release about the seizure, adding that residents are encouraged to report any illegal fireworks to law enforcement.
Authorities have warned that fireworks are particularly dangerous this year due to severe drought conditions, which can allow fires to spread quickly.
Some California cities have canceled their fireworks this year due to high fire danger, including shows in Lompoc and Don Pedro Lake.
“I am grateful that we can assist local law enforcement in protecting this community from the potential dangers posed by illegal fireworks,” Dist said. Atti. George Gascón said in a statement about the seizure.
Last year, the Los Angeles Police Department came under scrutiny for its handling of a fireworks seizure in South Los Angeles that ended in a large explosion which injured 17 people.
The sheriff’s department bomb squad worked to remove the fireworks on Monday, according to Azusa police. Residents were allowed to return to their homes around 10:15 p.m.