ATF discovers evidence of fireworks manufacturing at Grandview explosion site

Posted at 7:48 PM, Jan 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-01-04 19:55:32-05

Dozens of viewers from across the KC metro reported hearing explosions Tuesday night. 

The explosions came from a Grandview business near I-49 and 140th Street.

On Wednesday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) discovered evidence of fireworks manufacturing at the site of the explosion. 

The business owner was questioned by the ATF Wednesday afternoon. The owner is not currently facing federal charges and was free to leave after the on-site interview, according to the ATF. 

The business is believed to be J.W.'s Lawn and Garden Equipment. Viewers from as far as Overland Park, Kansas and Lee's Summit, Missouri reported hearing or feeling the explosion. 

Officials said no one was injured in the fire. The owner was not inside the building at the time. 

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Windows in seven homes and 19 apartments were blasted out due to the explosion, according to a release from the City of Grandview.

The release states that firefighters went into defensive mode when they arrived at the scene because of reports of ammunition in the building. Firefighters reported at least a dozen explosions and say they heard the constant "pops" of ammunition going off. 

Fire crews thought this building was dangerous, though the owner later told them no ammunition was inside.

"They're aware of this building, talked about it before. They knew if there was going to be a fire they were not going to go inside. They'd attack from the outside and do what they could," said Grandview Fire Chief Ron Graham. 

Christopher Velazquez said he witnessed the explosion when he was on the 140th Street Bridge with his fiancé and daughter.

"I was in pure shock. I didn't know what to do to be honest.  I wanted to get off the bridge because we were exposed to everything. I wanted to get off the bridge," said Velazquez.

The fire was said to be under control Wednesday morning. 



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