San Bernardino Co. Launches New Illegal Fireworks Reporting System In Wake Of Ontario Explosion

Following last month’s massive fireworks explosion in an Ontario neighborhoods which left two men dead and caused millions of dollars in damage, San Bernardino County Thursday was unveiling a new illegal fireworks reporting system. Kara Finnstrom reports.

Video Transcript

LESLEY MARIN: A new system will be unveiled today to help track down people using illegal fireworks. This all comes after a massive stockpile exploded at a home in Ontario and killed two people last month. CBS 2's Kara Finnstrom is live in Fontana with the details. Good morning, Kara.

KARA FINNSTROM: Good morning, Lesley. The fire department local law enforcement will be launching that new system here later this morning. It's their latest effort to combat what they call a growing crisis. Here's what some neighbors heard last month.

- Are you guys OK?

(EXPLOSIONS)

[SCREAMING]

KARA FINNSTROM: Investigators say a massive stockpile of illegal fireworks exploded in a home, killing two people and causing more than $3.2 million worth of damage to homes. We did a public records check of illegal fireworks calls to Ontario PD during the last year. They responded to 50 such calls within a one block radius of the home. That's about one every week.

And Ontario PD tells us that isn't their most active neighborhood for such calls. They also tell us they cited more people for illegal fireworks last year than in years past.

Today, local leaders are going to talk about this new firework reporting system that the public can use to report both the use and sale of such fireworks. All reports are going to go into a database that will help police focus their patrols and resources.

All right, take a look. Because you can already go on to the San Bernardino Fire Department's website for information on reporting fireworks. That can be done anonymously, as well as an effort launched about a week ago to collect fireworks. Folks can drive up to a number of area fire stations and surrender both illegal and safe and sane fireworks with no questions asked between April 10th and the 23th.

And back here live, Lesley DeMarco, just to underline this, all fireworks, including the safe and sane kind, are illegal here in San Bernardino. Their use is banned in unincorporated San Bernardino.

So the fire department wants to underline that. They're going to be talking about more about all of this in their efforts coming up this morning at about 10:00 AM.