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UPDATE: Explosion at Canyon Country apartment blamed on fireworks

Officials: Initial report the building harbored a meth lab proved wrong

Posted: October 24, 2012 3:37 p.m.
Updated: October 24, 2012 5:43 p.m.

A fire department Hazardous Materials Squad responds to the scene of an explosion on the 17700 block of Scherzinger Lane in Canyon Country on Wednesday.

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Fireworks in the bathroom of a Canyon Country apartment sent one person to the hospital with burns and prompted the evacuation of the apartment complex Wednesday afternoon, officials said.

An explosion reportedly felt and heard by some tenants about 3:25 p.m. Wednesday, sent emergency units scrambling to the Mountain View Apartments on Scherzinger Lane, east of Sierra Highway and north of Soledad Canyon Road, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Quvondo Johnson.

The complex was immediately evacuated, he said.

Specially-trained firefighters with the department’s Hazardous Materials unit were called out in response to reports of an unknown chemical.

“Initially, we got the call that it was a meth lab, but it turns out it was fireworks that went off,” said Lt. Bill Weiss of the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station.

“As a precaution, the building was evacuated,” he said.

Jairo Rodriguez lives two units down from where the explosion occurred.

“All of a sudden, I heard a boom and then glass shattered,” said Rodriguez, 21, who was among about two dozen residents standing in a group near the end of Scherzinger Lane.

He added that he observed a man whom he did not know come out shirtless, place a gray container on the back of a truck and take off in a truck.

He also saw a wall between this unit and an adjacent apartment broken “as though a giant explosion had happened,” he said.

Investigators with the Arson & Explosives Squad of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were called to the scene, he said.

“One individual received some burns and he remains at Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital,” he said.
Johnson said there was no fire at the scene.

“Our report does show that it was not a meth lab,” he told The Signal.

jholt@the-signal.com
661-287-5527

 

 

 

 

 

 

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