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LAPD Chief To Give Update On Massive Fireworks Blast in South LA – CBS Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – A news conference will take place Monday to discuss the latest on the investigation into the fireworks explosion in a South Los Angeles neighborhood last month which injured 17 people and damaged several homes.

FILE — Investigation in a fireworks explosion that destroyed a LAPD bomb squad vehicle in the 700 block of East 27th Street. July 4, 2021. (Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images)

The briefing will take place at 11 a.m. with Los Angeles Police Chief Michel Moore and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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The botched explosion occurred on the night of June 30 at East 27th and San Pedro streets.

The LAPD had discovered about 32,000 pounds of illegal fireworks at a nearby home and arrested a 27-year-old man. Ten pounds of the illegal fireworks – which were deemed to dangerous to travel with — were placed in a specialized armored truck designed for controlled detonations.

However, what was supposed to be a controlled detonation instead turned into a massive explosion. Ten LAPD officers, one ATF officer and six civilians were hurt. Debris from the explosion also damaged several nearby homes.

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Many of the displaced residents have still been unable to return to their homes. One victim told CBSLA that she and her family are now sleeping in a shoe store they own down the street because they have nowhere else to go.

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Several families have filed claims against the city.

Meanwhile, at 3 p.m. Monday, the 27th Street Incident Community Resource Center will officially launch at the YMCA at 1006 E. 28th St., according to the office of City Councilman Curren Price.

The new resource center will serve as the designated location where victims can connect with a wide range of services, including opportunities to file a claim, obtain mental health and wellness referrals, as well as other supportive services. The site will include representatives from Price’s office, the city attorney and city clerk, mental health and wellness staff, as well as members of the non-profit All Peoples Community Center who will offer food and clothing.

Prosecutors said the suspect, Arturo Ceja III purchased most of the explosives from a dealer in Pahrump, Nevada. In addition to the commercial fireworks, the initial search of Ceja’s residence led to the discovery of more than 140 other homemade fireworks — typically referred to M devices of varying sizes — as well as explosives-making components, including hobby fuses that matched the fuse on a homemade mortar shell wrapped in tin foil discovered inside the residence, according to a court affidavit.

Ceja faces federal charges of illegally transporting explosives without a license. He is scheduled to be arraigned Aug. 2.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)