Fireworks triggered a car explosion on the Fourth of July that critically injured a man, who was pulled from the burning car, and caused minor injuries to several people outside, according to authorities.
Dayton Bomb Squad Lt. Jason Hall described the damage as “catastrophic” after the explosion was reported around 6 p.m. in the 3300 block of Delphos Avenue.
An official on scene said a man inside the car had just bought fireworks, lit one inside the car and tried to throw it out. But instead, it came back in the car and ignited the rest of the fireworks, causing the large blast.
“There was some damage to structures, there was a power line to a house that was taken down,” authorities said.
The blast was so intense, it deployed the airbags in a car parked across the street and caused minor injuries to several people who were outside when the car exploded.
Audio from a 911 call made after the explosion shows people near the vehicle struggled to free a man from the smoking car for several minutes.
“Hurry up,” the caller tells the 911 dispatcher in the call. “You have to hurry up. Hurry up.”
The woman said she did not know how the explosion had happened. The dispatcher said the people at the scene should help the victim if it was safe and stay away from the vehicle.
After the man was pulled from the car, the woman told the dispatcher that he was breathing but unconscious.
At last check the victim, identified as Keshawn Rivers, 38, of Dayton, was in critical condition at Miami Valley Hospital.
For much of the evening, police had Delphos Avenue blocked off, and evacuated the neighborhood as a precaution.
“Safety is always paramount for us,” Hall said. “We are going to get people away from the situation, slow things down, determine what had happened, make sure there are no additional threats.”
While officers said it was fireworks that triggered the blast, Hall said he was awaiting test results to confirm.
“If it does turn out to be fireworks ... fireworks are extremely dangerous. They need to be handled with respect and they need to be handled professionally. Every year there are multiple injuries related to fireworks in the region,” he said.