KEY POINTS

  • Neighbors across the street had their homes' windows shattered
  • Multiple peripheral buildings were involved in the explosion
  • Police are investigating the incident as a possible felony

Two people were killed after a cache of fireworks exploded Tuesday at a house in Ontario, California, setting off a series of blasts that rocked the neighborhood.

The explosion took place around noon and led to evacuations of the immediate area. Ontario Fire Department Chief Ray Gayk confirmed during a press conference that there were two fatalities in addition to some injuries.

He said it's believed that the fire was sparked by commercial-grade fireworks illegally stored at a residential lot near West Francis Street and Fern Lane. 

"What we are doing right now is working with Ontario fire and bomb squad, clearing the area of any unexploded ordinance," Gayk told NBC News. First responders weren't able to go through the lot at first because the ordinance was huge on the ground. 

Steve Bailey, who lives nearby, said his whole house shook from the initial explosion. "It felt like something hit the roof, or a car crashed into the house," Bailey told ABC7.

Witnesses reported that neighbors across the street had their homes' windows shattered. Several smaller explosions followed, presumably from leftover fireworks, and a plume of smoke also rose from the scene.

Police said they were investigating the incident as a possible felony because of the illegal fireworks. Ontario Police Chief Mike Lorenz said there were previous complaints about the property, reported ABC News.