August 22, 2017 – On August 20th, 2017 at approximately 11:00 p.m. the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office received a call from CalFire personnel who had responded to the 12000 block of Old Stagecoach Road in the Chicago Park area of Nevada County for a burn victim. When CalFire personnel arrived on scene, they began treating the 57-year-old male victim for severe burns to his face and upper torso. While on scene, fire personnel observed a large amount of materials for manufacturing fireworks. CalFire immediately requested law enforcement respond for a criminal investigation.
Due to the nature of the call, the Placer County Sheriff’s Explosives Ordnance Detail was contacted and requested to respond to the scene to evaluate the level of danger being presented to the public. The Sacramento Sheriff’s Office Arson and Bomb Task Force also responded to assist with the investigation. Due to the volatility of the chemicals found at the residence, along with the additional materials for manufacturing illegal fireworks, the decision was made to destroy the items in place. Only a handful of live ordnances were found and destroyed; however, there were large amounts of precursor chemicals and hardware found for making fireworks.
The Nevada County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit was contacted and subsequently obtained a search warrant for the property. A large amount of hardware used in the manufacturing of fireworks was confiscated from the property – it is anticipated a case will be forwarded to the District Attorney’s Office for review.
Based on the evidence found at the scene, investigators believe the victim was handling a live ordnance inside the bottom floor of his two-story residence at the time of the device’s detonation, which resulted in his injuries. Due to the severity of his burns, the victim was transported by air ambulance to the UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, where he is expected to survive.