Illegal fireworks
Illegal fireworks confiscated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

An investigation was continuing Tuesday into the death of a man who authorities say was killed in an explosion while handling illegal fireworks in Montebello.

The blast occurred about 6:30 p.m. Monday in the yard of a home in the 1400 block of Germain Drive, according to the Montebello Police Department.

Paramedics responding to the home found the 42-year-old man unconscious and took him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His name has not yet been released.

Montebello police went to the residence on a report of a person injured by fireworks, said Michael Chee of the city of Montebello.

“Upon arrival, Montebello Fire and paramedics were also summoned,” Chee said in a statement, “An adult male victim, age 42, was suffering from serious injuries as a result of attempting to use an illegal firework. …

“A preliminary investigation indicated the victim was attempting to ignite or use a high powered, mortar type, aerial firework that is illegal in the City of Montebello, (the) County of Los Angeles and the State of California,” Chee said.

“The victim apparently attempted to hold the device when the firework went off and caused severe trauma to his upper torso,” Chee said.

Chee said Montebello Fire Department personnel investigated, and confiscated all fireworks paraphernalia found at the scene that were involved in the accident. A full report is pending, Chee said.

Chee also said no other injuries were reported.

“Initial findings indicate he personally brought the illegal fireworks to this private gathering with him,” Chee said.

“Although `safe and sane’ fireworks are legal and sold in the City of Montebello, high powered aerial fireworks are illegal,” Chee said. “This tragic accident and death was avoidable and serves as an unfortunate and grim reminder of the danger posed by illegal and high power fireworks.”

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