South LA fireworks explosion: Some residents file claims against city after catastrophic detonation

Eric Resendiz Image
Friday, July 16, 2021
South LA fireworks explosion: Some residents file claims against city
Residents of a South Los Angeles neighborhood are still picking up the pieces from the catastrophic fireworks explosion that occurred in June.

SOUTH LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- It's been about two weeks since a South Los Angeles neighborhood was rocked by a planned detonation that instead turned into a "total, catastrophic failure" destroying parts of the neighborhood and injuring residents.

"They said 'fire in the hole,'" said Jose Becerra, who was injured as a result of the explosion. "After that I see the blast. I see my wife flying. I see a lot of glass everywhere."

Becerra said many of his relatives ended up in the hospital.

"It was a mess. It's really hard to face something," said Becerra. "When you're in your house doing what the police say with your family, you never think something is going to change your life the way it did."

Becerra and his family are currently staying at a hotel like many who were displaced.

South LA explosion: Community demands accountability from LAPD following fireworks blast

South L.A. residents expressed outrage and anguish at the community forum, and they want to know why the explosive devices were detonated by police in the neighborhood.

Others, like the Oceguera family, are still going through the damage. The explosion left their apartment with shattered glass, walls cracked and the floor breaking apart. The city of Los Angeles and nonprofits like IsraAid are helping people recover.

"They are giving me a hotel to stay for my family and myself, and food everyday," said Oceguera.

Meanwhile, the Becerra family said they are grateful for the help they are receiving, but they are taking legal action. Their attorney is filing a claim against the city.

"We are looking for repairs first in our material things," said Becerra. "Second one, the medical bills because it's too much money for us."

According to the city of Los Angeles, they will review the claim and are addressing all claims expeditiously.