Several streets were shut down and neighboring homes were evacuated after an undercover police officer discovered hundreds of boxes of fireworks stacked "virtually floor-to-ceiling" in the basement of a Westchester home Monday night.
Stephen Surace, 53, of Valhalla, was arrested after the undercover officer purchased $1,000 worth of fireworks from him and saw the massive cache in his Valhalla basement, authorities said.
"It was basically like a Sam's Club warehouse store of fireworks down there, floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall, the whole basement of the house," said Westchester County Inspector Thomas Gleason.
Police evacuated nearby homes while local and federal authorities experienced in potentially hazardous devices removed the fireworks from Surace's basement.
Several side rounds surrounding Surace's home remained shut down Tuesday.
Surace was charged with criminal possession of a weapon and reckless endangerment, both felonies, as well as unlawful dealing of fireworks. Information on an attorney for him wasn't immediately available.
A neighbor said the fireworks were "scary."
"It's not just Roman candles, it's beyond that," said Jane Abbate.
Charles Mulham, who has been a federal agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for more than 20 years, said he has never seen a collection of dangerous fireworks like this before.
"Now there's obviously the other side of this investigation," Mulham said. "Where were they obtained, what explosives dealer sold them to this individual."