Authorities burn unexploded fireworks at Ontario home

Family members say a 36-year-old man and his 20-year-old cousin were killed when a cache of fireworks exploded at an Ontario home.

Video Transcript

- Happening now, nearly 24 hours after that massive explosion in Ontario, smoke and small flare-ups are still visible. Air7HD was over the area earlier this morning. And these are pictures from it. You can still see that it is smoldering out there. We turn now to Eyewitness News reporter Marc Cota-Robles, who has been there all morning long and just got an update from investigators within the last hour. Marc?

MARC COTA-ROBLES: Yeah, Jovana, good morning. We have learned here within the last hour, as you mentioned, that the investigation into the cause of this very serious explosion hasn't even started yet. For now, the Ontario Bomb Team has taken the lead to help clear debris from 80 properties in this immediate area, a combination of exploded and possibly unexploded ordinances and fireworks creating a still dangerous situation. That blast happened about a block behind us here. And perhaps most telling is the video itself.

- Are you guys OK?



MARC COTA-ROBLES: Well, that portion of cell phone video followed an earlier explosion. The woman recording survived, only suffering minor burns on her leg. She told Eyewitness News that she had called to complain about the neighboring property before because of the illegal fireworks, but alleges nothing was done because the people responsible were never caught in the act. Police today confirmed they were called once to this location last year, the fire chief telling me he's never experienced something like this in his 30-year career and described the dangerous task of sifting through the blast site.

- Don't know what was exactly in there. However, there was a large amount of some sort of explosives. Could be a combination of a lot of different things. We just don't know yet, because it's too dangerous for us to get in there.

We have to go through a very meticulous process. The problem with a lot of these types of fireworks is they get wet and then they start to dry out. And they became very volatile at that point.



MARC COTA-ROBLES: And for that reason, the evacuations remain in place for the immediate area. Meantime, the two people killed have not yet been identified. Both bodies were found in the backyard of the property, where those explosions originated.

However, police this morning are naming two men who are missing from that location-- 38-year-old Alex Paez and 20-year-old Cesar Paez. Police say that they are cousins. And let me stress again, police are not yet naming them as the victims of this blast, only saying that they are missing at this point. Ontario Fire telling us that the operation to clear that blast site is going to take days, followed by that investigation to, of course, figure out what caused the initial explosion.