August 29, 2014

1 dead, 1 injured in possible fireworks blast in Arlington

A firefighter says men may have been tampering with illegal fireworks.

Firefighters found one man dead and another injured when they responded to calls about an explosion late Thursday.

Multiple 911 callers reported smoke, flames and an explosion at a residence in the 2600 block of Hedgeapple Drive about 11 p.m., a news release from the Arlington Fire Department said.

The injured man, who was in the front yard, was taken to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas with burns over 80 percent of his body, the news release said. KXAS/Channel 5 identified the man as Dustin Louis, 23.

In the garage, firefighters found the dead man, identified by the Tarrant County medical examiner’s office as Jared Backus, 24, of Arlington. The cause and manner of his death were pending Friday night.

The fire, which was confined to the garage, was controlled at 11:07 p.m. Structural damage was estimated at $5,000, the release said.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation, the release said.

Joe Morris, a shift commander with the Fire Department, told Channel 5 that there was evidence that the men were tampering with illegal consumer-grade fireworks and that gunpowder may have been removed.

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