Chief Investigative Reporter Jonathan Dienst on crime, corruption and terrorism.

Huge Fireworks Cache Found in Westchester Basement

Neighboring homes were evacuated and several streets were shut down while authorities removed the fireworks

Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013  |  Updated 8:31 PM EDT
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Several streets were shut down and neighboring homes were evacuated after an undercover police officer discovered hundreds of boxes of fireworks stacked

NBC 4 New York

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. Marc Santia reports.

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."

Get the latest from NBC 4 New York anywhere, anytimeiPhone/iPad App | Twitter | Facebook | Email Newsletters Send Us News Tips | Google+ | Instagram | RSS

Get the latest headlines sent to your inbox!
View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print
Leave Comments
What's New
21st Century Solutions
The NBCUniversal Foundation is partnering... Read more
Follow Us
Sign up to receive news and updates that matter to you.
Send Us Your Story Tips
Check Out