Investigation continues into Valencia explosion

Three critical burn patients are transported by paramedics after an initial report of an explosion on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. Dan Watson/The Signal

Detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Arson and Explosives Detail are continuing their investigation of the circumstances surrounding last month’s explosion at a Valencia industrial park.

The Feb. 2 explosion sparked a 1-acre brush fire and sent at least four to the hospital, and while the investigation remains ongoing, the incident appears to have been accidental, according to Detective Scott Schulze.

Initial reports indicated that the explosion had occurred at a movie set, though detectives later learned the blast was caused by the processing of commercial pyrotechnics, which were owned by a private company, according to a Nixle released by the Sheriff’s Department.

“It was a mixture of a commercial pyrotechnic and a flammable liquid,” Schulze added.

Firefighters responded to an explosion that sparked a brush fire in Valencia on Tuesday, Feb. 2, 2021. Caleb Lunetta/The Signal

The incident occurred on the 25100 block of Rye Canyon Loop just before 4:45 p.m. Feb. 2, which Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said was the location where some movie-set supplies are stored.

All of the victims suffered extensive injuries and were subsequently transported to a trauma center, with two later transferred to a burn ward, per the Nixle.

Detectives are currently investigating if the individuals involved in the incident had the proper licensing needed to possess and handle explosives, as those who work in the special effects industry are typically licensed through the California State Fire Marshals, as well as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, per Schulze.

“It gets a little complicated, but depending on what they’re doing, they possibly might not have to be licensed, and then there’s some parts of it where you can be unlicensed, but working under the supervision of someone with a license,” Schulze said. “That’s kind of where the investigation is going right now.” 

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