Experts stress firework safety after southwest Wichita house explosion
It was a quiet morning Monday for Jessica Eichbauer-Welch and her family. That is a stark difference from about 16 hours ago. "I was in our kitchen and trying to prep for dinner and it was just a massive, it shook my entire house. It scared me to death and I ran outside because I thought something had happened to my house.
Her home is just on the next street over from a home in Southwest Wichita that exploded Sunday evening.
The Wichita fire department is still investigating the cause but one option it is looking into is? Fireworks.
"There have been some reports of the initial fireworks being manufactured. So right now all of that information is still being reviewed and ongoing with interviews" Battalion chief Jose Ocadiz told reporters Monday.
Mike Wawrzewski runs 'Waz up" fireworks in Bel Aire. He says manufacturing or modifying fireworks is incredibly dangerous. “Everybody wants to make something bigger and better. But you have to understand that you're putting yourself and others at risk of either getting injured or permanently injured.”
If that is what happened Sunday, he says some can strong enough to cause an explosion like what happened at the house. "It is gunpowder or its flash powder that's being used to create those effects and if you combine them in the right quantity, that's enough that injury can occur or death can occur.”
Wawrzewski says people should not store fireworks in their homes for that reason. Part of the danger of doing that is that is very easy for something to light unintentionally. “People sharpening a blade on their lawn mower not knowing just in the cabinet above them could be just leftover fireworks.”