ATF: Fatal MO Duplex Explosion, Fire Caused by Illegal Fireworks

A criminal investigation will not be opened because the suspect is the deceased man who was creating the fireworks in the basement of the Raytown home.


According to a report from KCTV5, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) believes an explosion in Raytown, Missouri, that left a man dead and injured a woman and child was caused by the manufacturing of illegal fireworks.

ATF Public Information Officer John Ham said the agency will not start a criminal investigation because their suspect is the deceased man who is thought to have been creating the fireworks in the basement of the home. Ham also said these incidents are a risk not just for those producing the fireworks but also for their buyers.

As ATF agents sifted through the debris, neighbors said the explosion was heard and felt from blocks away.

Just before 4 p.m. Tuesday, Ham said the ATF discovered evidence of illegal fireworks making in the basement, the type more powerful than what is found at stores and other outlets.

The creating of illegal fireworks was cited as the cause of a business explosion in Grandview in 2017 and at a home in Kansas City in 2014.

This time, he said, a man died, a woman needed surgery, and at least one of two kids inside went to the hospital.

Ham also said that incidents such as these will not stop until the demand dries up.

Ham did not have any update on the condition of the injured woman who went through surgery Tuesday, and he was unsure if the child had been released from the hospital. However, he noted that the child’s injuries were not severe.

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