A fireworks explosion in Montebello killed a man during a Fourth of July celebration Monday night.

The unidentified man was handling suspected illegal, high-grade fireworks when they exploded, according to Montebello city spokesperson Michael Chee. He was found unconscious with serious injuries lying in the yard of a home, Chee said.

First responders were dispatched to the 1400 block of Germain Drive around 6:30 p.m., according to the Montebello Police Department.

Crews tried to revive the man before he was transported to a hospital, where he died, Chee said.

Although so-called safe and sane fireworks are legal in Montebello, police suspect the ones that fatally injured the man did not fall into that category, Chee said. Investigations are currently underway to determine the type of fireworks, according to Chee.

This fatal accident occurred despite a crackdowns on illegal fireworks across the region. Multiple Southern California fireworks shows were canceled days before the holiday after the state launched an investigation into the company that was hired to provide the pyrotechnics.

L.A. City Atty. Mike Feuer also issued a statement in the weeks leading up to the Fourth of July urging residents against using fireworks.

In addition, City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez hosted her second annual fireworks buyback on Saturday, when 75 people stopped by Brand Park in Mission Hills to turn in almost 700 pounds of illegal fireworks.

On June 30, 2021, the LAPD bomb squad botched the detonation of a cache of illegal fireworks discovered in the backyard of a South L.A. home, injuring 17 people and displacing over 80 residents. Today, 66 people still have not found permanent housing.

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