Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fireworks experiment guts man's garage

CENTREVILLE, Va. -- A man who was apparently trying to make fireworks touched off an explosion in his garage and set his house aflame Sunday, authorities said. No one was hurt.

Flash powder, used in fireworks, was found among chemicals in the garage, said Mike Campbell, a spokesman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

A side of the attached garage was gutted, but the house didn't appear to be badly damaged.

"It just appears he may have been wanting to make his own homemade fireworks," Campbell said. "This is what happens when you do that."

Dangerous chemicals were stored in the garage and in a shed behind the house, said Capt. Chris Schaff, a spokesman for the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department. Local officials asked the ATF and FBI to assist because of the nature of the chemicals.

Two adults and two teenagers had to evacuate the home. Authorities were interviewing the man Sunday evening, and no charges had been brought.

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