2 Dead, 1 Injured in Southern California Fireworks Explosion That Caused Massive Fire
Two people are dead after fireworks exploded in an Ontario, California, home Tuesday afternoon.
The individuals have not yet been identified by age or gender, Dan Bell, the city of Ontario Communications and Community Relations Director, tells PEOPLE.
He also confirms that there is one known survivor of the explosion who had "minor lacerations."
During a press conference, Fire Chief Raymond J. Gayk said, "We have confirmed two fatalities. I'm not sure if they are children or adults, male or female at this point."
The incident occurred in the 400 block of West Francis Street of Ontario, which is almost 40 miles east of Los Angeles.
Video of the scene showed fireworks going off followed by a huge gust of smoke in the air. Several residents noted that it could be seen throughout the Ontario neighborhood and many reported feeling a ricochet from the explosion. Nearby windows were also blown out as a result.
Police Chief Mike Lorenz said in a press conference that the Ontario Police Department are "at minimum investigating a felony, or multiple felonies" because fireworks are illegal in the city.
Bell clarified by telling PEOPLE, "Anything is possible as far as investigation depending on quantity or size of [the] fireworks. Fireworks are illegal in the city of Ontario so we're going to be looking at that on the local level but we do have other agencies here investigating."
"If there are fireworks that take it to that [felony] level we will probably pursue that," he says.
At the time of the incident, he told PEOPLE, "There was a large cache of fireworks on scene which ignited the explosion which caused the structure fire."
The City of Ontario released a brief statement on Twitter after the explosion occurred.
"We are aware of the loud explosion that was heard recently," the statement said. "The Ontario Police Department and the Ontario Fire Department are investigating it. Please stay clear of the area."
The city later tweeted, "@OntarioPD and @OntarioFireDept are currently on scene in the area of Fern Avenue and Francis Street. A large amount of fireworks at a house ignited, causing a large structure fire. Explosions being heard are by fireworks at this time. More details to follow."
The Ontario Fire Department also announced that there is an evacuation order for W Francis St and W Maple Ave between Fern and San Antonio. "A temporary Care and Reception Center is being established at the De Anza Community Center, 1405 S. Fern," the department said.
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In another tweet, the department announced road closures on Francis, Locust, and Maple streets between Fern and San Antonio.
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